A person staying in the United States as a lawful permanent resident or on a visa can face deportation for a number of reasons. Common reasons for deportation include certain criminal convictions, habitual drug use and the like.
Before an Immigration Judge, a person facing deportation may be able to raise several different defenses to their removal.
Immigrants may have the right to appeal their deportation
As with other court decisions, immigrants who are going to be deported by a formal order of removal from the United States may be able to appeal that decision.
Depending on the circumstances, they may get an automatic stay or may request a stay in the removal proceedings.
Stays are court orders which tell the government not go forward with actually removing an immigrant from the country.
In other words, even though the removal order stands unless a higher court overturns it, the immigrant may at least be able to delay the process until their cases are resolved.
Other forms of relief from a removal case
An Immigration Judge may decide to allow an immigrant to stay in the United States for a number of legal reasons even if the immigrant is already in the middle of the deportation case.
It is important to remember, though, that it is ultimately up to the court whether any of these reasons apply.
For example, permanent residents or those who have been staying in the country legally for many years may be able to have a deportation proceeding legally cancelled.
Others who are facing deportation may be able to qualify for asylum or for what is called an adjustment of status.
An adjustment of status involves allowing a person to qualify as a permanent resident or for a visa even though a deportation is in process.
Finally, some may see an advantage to agreeing to a voluntary departure, in which a person agrees to leave the United States within a certain time, but no more than about 4 months.