Relief from deportation

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Updated: 4/13/2007 3:36 pm
If a court finds evidence that you should be deported, you’re required to appear before an immigration judge to demonstrate why you should be able to stay in the United States. The Immigration and Nationality Act provides for many types of relief from deportation, and you can seek such relief during your deportation hearing. One type of relief is known as termination. With termination, you can argue that the deportation proceedings against you should never have been brought forth or that deportability hasn’t been proven. You may also choose to request what’s known as a “withholding of deportation,” if the charge of deportation was based on an asylum application. You must be able to prove that your life or freedom in your home country would be threatened because of your race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. Another type of relief available is voluntary departure. It involves conceding to the deportation charge against you and agreeing to leave the United States through your own means within a prescribed time period. Individuals who choose to depart voluntarily on their own may have an easier time returning to the United States than someone who is deported by the government. The last major type of relief you may seek is called “cancellation of removal,” and it’s available to foreign nationals who have been continuously present in the United States for at least 10 years. You must show good moral character and demonstrate that deportation would cause extreme hardship to your parent, spouse, or child who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Keep in mind that all these types of relief from deportation may have exceptions or other qualifications that you must meet. There may also be other methods of relief from deportation available that you can ask for. It’s important to have your case analyzed to see which type of relief, if any, is applicable to you.

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