Immigrants to the United States face a plethora of hardships. Dealing with the large amounts of legal paperwork and documentation needed to remain in this country is overwhelming.
Familiarizing oneself with some common defenses to removal and deportation can help ease some of the stress of the unknown.
1. Adjustment of status or applications for permanent residency
Filing a green card application can occasionally work as a deportation defense. The application for permanent residency depends on an approved immigrant visa petition. Individuals can change from nonimmigrant to immigrant status through a U.S. citizen family member in order for them to get legal status. In some cases, an approved employment-based petition also counts as the basis for “Adjustment of Status.”
2. Prosecutorial discretion
The government agency or attorney directing the deportation of an individual can decide to close or terminate the removal proceedings. Cases closed based on prosecutorial discretion might give individuals the opportunity to apply for work authorization but not gain the right to travel, depending on the other applications on file.
A grant of asylum is a form of protection for people who fear future persecution or fled a past harm in their home country. Applicants must show that the persecution they suffered or fear resulted from discrimination based on religion, nationality, political opinion, race or membership in a certain social group. Asylum leads to legal status in the United States, a work permit and a green card.
4. Renewal of form I-751
An untimely filing of the I-751 petition to remove condition on residence may result in the government’s attorney starting removal proceedings against the individual. As a defense to removal, an immigration judge can renew the I-751 petition.