Receiving deportation papers from the government is scary. It can feel like your future is spiraling out of control. But take a deep breath - all hope is not lost. With the right legal help and a strategic approach, many immigrants in removal proceedings are able to stay in the U.S.
At Tampa Immigration Law Center, we know this is an incredibly stressful and emotional time. That's why our compassionate attorneys are here to guide you through the process every step of the way. We'll help you understand your rights, build the strongest case possible, and fight to keep your family together. This blog provides key steps to take if you are facing potential deportation. Don't go through this alone. We're here to support you.
Understand the notice to appear
The Notice to Appear is the charging document that initiates removal proceedings against you. It will state the immigration law violations you are alleged to have committed and instruct you to appear before an immigration judge. The notice does not necessarily mean you will definitely be deported, but it is the first step in the process.
Carefully review the notice and make sure you understand what violations of immigration law you are being accused of. Also take note of the time, date and location of your first master calendar hearing. This will be your first appearance before the immigration judge.
Seek legal representation
One of the most important things you can do when facing deportation is to consult with and retain an experienced immigration attorney. The immigration system is incredibly complex, and having legal counsel greatly improves your chances of successfully fighting removal.
An attorney can assess the merits of your case, identify potential defenses against removal, and walk you through the process step-by-step. Be sure to retain counsel as quickly as possible after receiving the Notice to Appear.
Gather Supporting Documentation
In consultation with your attorney, you will need to gather documents, records and other evidence to support your case. This may include:
- Proof of legal entry into the U.S.
- Visa application records
- Tax documents showing length of U.S. residency
- Marriage certificates or records proving familial relationships
- Other documents demonstrating your ties to the community
Having as much documentation as possible will help in establishing potential defenses against removal.
Consider all grounds for relief
There are various grounds for relief that could allow you to lawfully remain in the U.S. even if you are technically removable. Your attorney will assess whether you are eligible for forms of relief such as:
- Cancellation of removal
- Adjustment of status
- Withholding of removal
- Protection under the Convention Against Torture
Determine your eligibility for all potential forms of relief that may allow you to avoid deportation.
Attend all immigration court hearings
Be sure to attend all master calendar hearings and individual merits hearings for your case. If you do not show up, you could be ordered removed in absentia. Showing up demonstrates your commitment to following proper legal procedures.
Dress professionally, be polite, and let your attorney do most of the talking. Your conduct in court can influence the judge's perception of you.
Stay strong through the process
Facing potential deportation takes an enormous mental and emotional toll. Seek support from loved ones, community groups and counseling services. Take care of your health, keep up a routine, and do not lose hope. With proper legal counsel and a commitment to making your best case, many people in removal proceedings are ultimately able to remain in the U.S.
Going through deportation proceedings is draining, to say the least. But you don't have to endure this difficult journey on your own. The attorneys at Tampa Immigration Law Center are by your side. We'll make sure you have the best possible legal defense against removal, taking into account your unique situation. With expert guidance, positive thinking, and faith in the process, we can give you the chance to lawfully remain in the country you call home.
If you or a loved one are facing deportation, please contact our office right away to set up a consultation. We know the turbulence you are experiencing. But there is always hope, and we will do everything in our power to keep your family united. Call us today and take that first step on the path to the future you deserve.