If your family member or friend is detained at an immigration detention center, then our office can file for a bond/custody redetermination hearing before an immigration judge. The bond hearing is separate and apart and is not part of the removal/deportation hearings known as a master hearing and individual hearing.
There are several alternatives to detentions that may be granted, such as released on own recognizance, bond and an anklet monitoring system. In some cases, mandatory detention may apply to the alien and no bond/custody redetermination will be granted. Our office will use our experience and expertise in the deportation-waivers defense to reunite you with your detained family or friend.
Stay of Removal
In cases where the alien has a final order of removal, our office may request a motion to stay removal and appeal to the discretion of Immigration and Custom Enforcement so the removal order can be set aside for a period of time.
Immigration & Custom Enforcement (ICE) attorneys can exercise prosecutorial discretion on a case-by-case basis to administratively close or terminate a pending removal/deportation case. Immigration judges are prepared to adjudicate prosecutorial discretion motions filed with the court. In most cases, a request for prosecutorial discretion would result in administrative closure of a pending removal/deportation case.
“Administrative closure” is an order by the court that removes the case from the immigration court’s calendar of hearings. Administrative closure does not mean that your case is completed or that the court has granted any application for relief that you may have filed with the court. If the court orders your case administratively closed, it simply means you will have no further hearings unless you or Department of Homeland Security specifically ask the court to schedule a hearing.
Voluntary departure is the most common form of relief from removal and may be granted by Immigration Judges, as well as the Department of Homeland Security. Voluntary departure avoids the stigma of formal removal by allowing an otherwise removable alien to depart the United States at his or her own personal expense and return to his or her home country, or another country if the individual can secure an entry there. It is important to note that aliens granted voluntary departure must depart within the time specified by the Immigration Judge. Although an Immigration Judge has the discretion to set a shorter deadline, aliens granted voluntary departure prior to the completion of removal proceedings must depart within 120 days, and those granted such relief at the conclusion of removal proceedings must depart within 60 days.
Cancellation of Removal
This form of discretionary relief is available to qualifying lawful permanent residents and qualifying non-permanent residents.
For lawful permanent residents, cancellation of removal may be granted if the individual:
- Has been a lawful permanent resident for at least 5 years;
- Has continuously resided in the United States for at least 7 years after having been lawfully admitted; and
- Has not been convicted of an “aggravated felony,” a term that is more broadly defined within immigration law than the application of the term “felony” in non-immigration settings.
Cancellation of removal for non-permanent residents may be granted if the alien:
- Has been continuously present for at least 10 years;
- Has been a person of good moral character during that time;
- Has not been convicted of an offense that would make him or her removable; and
- Demonstrates that removal would result in exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to his or her immediate family members (limited to the alien’s spouse, parent, or child) who are either U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents.
In certain cases, our office can file asylum applications and defend asylum cases in immigration court. The asylum applicant must demonstrate an inability to return to his or her home country because of past persecution or a well-founded fear of future persecution based upon his or her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. However, an alien may be ineligible for asylum under certain circumstances, including having failed to file an asylum application within an alien’s first year of arrival in the United States, being convicted of an aggravated felony, or having been found to be a danger to national security. Similar forms of relief are Withholding of Removal and applications under the United Nations Convention Against Torture.
Adjustment of Status
This form of discretionary relief is available to change an alien’s status from a non-immigrant to a lawful permanent resident. Aliens who have been previously admitted into the United States can apply for adjustment of status, while aliens in removal proceedings apply before an Immigration Judge. Several conditions must be met, including that the alien is admissible for permanent residence and an immigrant visa is immediately available at the time of application. Aliens who qualify for visas allowing an adjustment of status are often petitioned for by a spouse (or another family member) or an employer. Certain individuals, including criminals and aliens who fail to appear for proceedings or fail to depart after a grant of voluntary departure, and those who were ordered removed may be ineligible for adjustment of status.
Appeal & Motion to Reopen/Reconsider
Alternatively, if the alien has a final order of removal, our office may consider filing an appeal of the immigration judge’s decision with the Board of Immigration Appeals or the Federal Courts. Also, a motion to reopen/reconsider the immigration judge decision may be filed in certain immigration cases.
Waivers Available in Immigration Court
To be eligible for a waiver of removability, you must establish hardship to yourself or your close family members if you were to be removed from the U.S. The following waivers may be sought during removal/deportation proceedings in immigration court:
– INA 212(c)
– INA 212(h)
– INA 212(i)
Waiver for Inadmissibility
If you are ineligible for a immigrant visa or green card based on one or more of the immigration laws, you may be able to apply for a waiver. The immigrant visa category that you are applying for will determine whether a waiver of inadmissibility is available. The consular officer interviewing you at the U.S. Embassy will tell you if you may apply for a waiver and will provide detailed instructions for how to apply. Our office prepares and files the waiver with an abundance of supporting documents to prove the extreme hardship to your relatives in the United States and argues on various grounds why the waiver of inadmissibility should be granted.