6 Potential Defenses When Facing Deportation

If you're preparing to speak with a deportation defense attorney about a case, it's a good idea to learn what some of your options may be. Someone facing deportation might want to consider one of these 6 defenses.

Adjustment of Status

This defense can come up for a handful of reasons simply because the system often encourages people to move from one status to another. Especially with family and employment immigration petitions, people get caught between shifts in statuses.

As such, you may be able to file a petition after a deportation action starts. In this scenario, your deportation defense lawyer would ask the court to stay the action until your change in status has been reviewed.

Deferred Action

The DACA program is meant to protect children who arrive in the U.S. through no fault of their own. A deferred action makes it possible for these people to stay in the country pending further legislative efforts to clarify their circumstances and potentially establish a path to citizenship.

Protected Status

Temporary protected status covers individuals who can't safely return to their countries at this time. Such defenses are common among those who came to the U.S. from countries with oppressive governments, terrorist organizations, or aggressive criminal syndicates. Persecuted minorities also may be able to seek protected status if they come from groups their countries of origin are actively harming.

Hardship for Others

If someone has been a non-legal resident on an effectively permanent basis, they may be able to note the repercussions of deportation as a defense. This involves proving that a U.S. citizen or legal resident — usually a child, parent, or married partner — would suffer undue hardship due to the deportation. Petitions must prove they are people of demonstrable moral character who have spent at least 10 years in the U.S. prior to the start of deportation proceedings.

Criminal Witness

When a prosecutor is actively pursuing a case, they may need to keep a person facing deportation in the U.S. The prosecutor, however, might not have taken the necessary steps to prevent the deportation. In this scenario, you'll need to have the prosecutor affirm to the immigration court the necessity of your testimony in their case.

Voluntary Departure

When all else fails, the target of the deportation actions may elect to leave on their own. This at least avoids creating a record of the deportation, putting them in a better position to try to return at a later time. For more information, contact a deportation defense attorney.