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Florida Immigration Law: 3 Possible Deportation Defenses

| Oct 20, 2018 | Immigration Law

Receiving a call from a family member or friend telling you they have been arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers and are now facing possible deportation can be one of the most heartbreaking calls you can get. Sadly, dozens of these calls are made every day in the U.S. All of these people have at least two things in common. First, they are scared, shocked, and unsure of their future. Second, they usually have family or friends born and living in the U.S. They are someone else’s father, mother, sibling, or a friend.

If the situation described above is the one your family is currently facing, you may take comfort in knowing that deportation is not an automatic process. In fact, given the right circumstances, it’s something you can successfully contest and avoid. In this blog, we present 3 possible deportation defenses that can be used by a lawyer on your behalf during a hearing in immigration court.

Contesting Charges of Removability

During the initial hearing in immigration court, a judge will ask a detained person whether they admit or deny the charges of removability. In other words, the judge will give the person the opportunity to speak about the detention and potential deportation and state whether he or she thinks there are legal grounds for that. If they deny the charges, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will need to prove that legal grounds for the deportation do exist.

Denying the charges of removability can be, in and of itself, a possible deportation defense if a potential deportation would be unlawful – that is, if there is no legal basis for removal. However, undocumented immigrants are, in the grand majority of cases, legally removable. Therefore, this line of defense may only be used in a limited amount of cases.


Many people immigrate to the U.S. to escape persecution in their home country. If that’s the case, a person facing persecution based on either race, religion, nationality, political opinion or because they are members of a particular social group they may try to apply for asylum. Being granted asylee status in the U.S. allows a person to live and work legally in the country and eventually apply for a green card.

Criminal or Non-Criminal Waiver

If charged with deportability because of a criminal past, a person may be able to file a criminal waiver – such as 212(c), 212(h), or EOIR-42A Cancellation of Removal for Legal Permanent Residents. The availability of a waiver, however, will depend on the nature and type of crime committed. On the other hand, if a person is trying to obtain an immigration benefit such as a U visa or permanent residency based on employment or family relationship, but has been found inadmissible of certain acts not related to criminal activity, he or she will need a non-criminal waiver.

Facing Charges of Deportability or inadmissibility? Contact Rotella & Hernandez

If you or a family member are facing charges of deportability or inadmissibility, you can greatly increase your chances of obtaining a visa or permanent residency by working closely with a skilled immigration lawyer. Rotella & Hernandez will gladly provide you and your family with compassionate and informed counsel regarding your immigration and visa status. Our attorneys will not shy away from courageously representing your interests before an immigration court. Contact us today and let’s discuss your best options.