Blog posts tagged in deportation order
Most immigrants who petition for a stay of deportation or removal will do so based on a law they believe helps their case. Sometimes, however, an undocumented person has to depend on what is called a cancellation of removal, which is essentially prosecutorial discretion, allowing him or her to stay in the U.S., though he or she technically lacks the right to remain. Among the requirements that must be demonstrated, the immigrant must show at least “exceptional” hardship to a U.S. citizen if he or she was to be deported. This standard has become all but impossible to meet.
In order to qualify for cancellation of removal under the Immigration & Nationality Act (INA), three requirements must be met. The alien must (1) not have been convicted of certain offenses and generally been a person of “good moral character” during his or her stay in the United States; (2) resided in the U.S. for at least 7 years (or been physically present for 10, if he or she seeks to adjust status); and (3) he or she must establish that his or her removal would result in “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” to his or her U.S. citizen (or lawful permanent resident) spouse, parent, or child.
In the recent months since the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) began to crack down hard on all those lacking status, the plight of the United States’ immigration courts has come into sharp relief. A shortage of judges has led many to be unaware of the answer to the simple question of what an immigration judge even does—his or her function is quite different than the run-of-the-mill criminal or civil court judge. It can potentially change your approach to your removal case if you understand the true role of an appointed immigration judge.
Origins and Loyalties
Immigration judges are appointed by the Attorney General, who is the head of the Justice Department. The Justice Department is also the federal agency which houses the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), which oversees immigration matters at the basic and intermediate levels—immigration judges and the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) are both governed by EOIR rules.
Barring a last-minute volte-face, the President has made the decision to officially end the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals (DACA) program initiated by his predecessor. He has stated that the official date for DACA to end will not be immediately, however; rather, in six months’ time the program will officially expire.
Regardless of specific dates, this decision has the potential to cause approximately 800,000 people to either be deported or temporarily removed from the only home many have ever known. If you are one of those people, there are factors you need to know.
Undocumented Status Creates Problems
In 2014, the United States experienced a surge of migrants from Central and South America appearing seemingly en masse at its southern border. Many were deported upon encountering Customs & Border Patrol (CBP), but many were able to assert a claim of credible fear—they stated their intent to apply for asylum in the United States.
Due to the immigration backlog in U.S. courts, many of these cases are just now coming up for review. However, a large portion of the asylum seekers have not appeared, and have been ordered removed in absentia.
While it may seem smart to not appear in court lest you be arrested, it is absolutely not the right choice to make. Failing to appear can actually make matters even worse for you.
The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act has been proposed in Congress several times before 2017, with the most recent being 2011 (though in 2012 President Obama directed his administration to use the criteria contained in the DREAM Act in determining whether or not to deport young undocumented people). On July 20, 2017, it was introduced again, by Sens. Lindsey Graham and Dick Durbin, in a bipartisan initiative, and in a slightly different format than previously proposed.
Graham and Durbin, both members of the “Gang of 8” that authored a comprehensive immigration reform bill in 2013 yet never made it out of committee, have made it clear that they believe the best way forward is to explore extending Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status to Dreamers (the young people who would be affected by the passage of such a law).