It’s a difficult time to be an immigrant in the United States. Political and public attitudes keep shifting, and many immigrants, both documented and undocumented, now fear for their futures and their families much more than ever. It may seem like the specter of deportation is always hanging over your head.
If you or your loved one are facing the possibility of deportation and removal from this country, you may find relief through one of the following options.
Adjustment of status
If you entered the United States legally and meet certain requirements, you may be able to apply for an adjustment of status that will allow you to transition from a nonimmigrant with the temporary right to be in the country to a lawful permanent resident.
Cancellation of removal
If you’ve been lawfully admitted to the U.S. as either a permanent or non-permanent resident and meet certain conditions, you may be able to convince a judge to adjust your status so that you are no longer a “deportable alien” and become a lawful permanent resident. The length of time you’ve been in this country, your family and community ties, your moral character and your criminal history can all play into the judge’s decision.
If you have a legitimate fear that you will face persecution in your home country over something like your ethnicity, religion, politics or inclusion in certain social groups, you may be able to prevail upon the court to grant you relief from deportation through asylum.
Sometimes, a judge will take discretionary action to allow an undocumented immigrant to remain in the U.S. for a certain time or indefinitely based on a sense of fairness. This is often used in cases where someone was brought to the United States as a child and they’re now students or productive members of society.
Temporary protected status
If your homeland is in the middle of an ongoing war, famine or some other disaster that makes it very unsafe for you to return, you may be able to convince the court to grant you relief through temporary protected status (TPS). While not a permanent solution, it can give you time to look at other options.
These are not the only possible defenses to deportation. Immigration laws are very complex, which is one of the primary reasons why seeking personalized legal guidance tailored to your unique needs and concerns is wise.