Legal Defenses to Stop Deportation

By February 5, 2015Immigration

immigration-deportation-defensesEven if you are an illegal immigrant and are currently in removal proceedings, you might be able to avoid deportation. There are different legal strategies available that can provide you with a waiver, defer your deportation, or possibly even put you on the path to getting a green card.

The deportation process is complicated, and a mistake can obviously be very costly, so it’s important that you get in touch with an immigration lawyer immediately. Our experienced team of immigration lawyers can meet with you and describe all of these strategies in further detail. With your cooperation we can help you contest your deportation and hopefully allow you to stay in the country. Some of the possible defenses to deportation include:

• Adjustment of status
• Asylum
• Convention against torture protection
• Cancellation under the violence against women act
• Cancellation of removal
• Deferred action

Adjustment of Status

Under the Immigration and Nationality Act Sections 245 and 249, an illegal immigrant can apply to have their status changed to legal immigrant status. The circumstances to apply are very specific, but you may be eligible if you originally entered the country legally, entered before 1972, or have examples of good moral character. Your immigration lawyer can help determine if you are eligible.


If you can prove that you would face persecution and serious danger if you returned to your home country, you may qualify for asylum status. If you are granted asylum status, you will be eligible for permanent residency and a work permit.

Convention Against Torture Protection

Similar to asylum status, this is meant to protect individuals who face great danger upon return to their home country. If you can prove to the immigration court that you would likely be tortured in your home country, you might be able to avoid deportation. CAT protection usually does not provide you with a green card, and you would not be able to re-enter the country if you leave, but you will be protected from deportation.

Cancellation Under VAWA

In order to protect illegal immigrants who are domestic violence victims as well as encourage them to press charges against their abusers, there is a deportation protection carved out in the Violence Against Women Act. If you can show that you were abused and have already pressed charges against your abuser, you will get protection from deportation.

Cancellation of Removal

If you can prove that you’ve been in the United States for more than ten years and explain why your removal would cause “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” to a family member, you may be granted cancellation of removal. Showing exception hardship is very difficult. Merely taking care of your children or your parents in America is not enough. However, if one of your relatives is dying or seriously ill and you are taking care of them or paying their medical bills, you may qualify.

Deferred Action

Under the Obama Administration, there is a deferred action program for childhood arrivals, DACA. There are specific requirements to qualify, but qualified aliens can apply to defer their deportation and remain in the country under a temporary deferral.

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