Chicago Deportation Defense Lawyers

Are you facing removal from the United States? Do you feel hopeless on your path to citizenship? You’re not alone. At Khalaf & Abuzir LLC, our immigration attorneys have helped immigrants on their citizenship journey since 1983. Our committed, results-driven approach is why we’re the firm families trust to resolve their immigration issues.

Removal relief refers to the options available to those facing deportation from the U.S. If you or a loved one has been detained or received a Notice to Appear (NTA) by the Immigration Court, it could jeopardize your ability to continue living and working in Illinois. Further, it may prevent you from returning for an extended period, or permanently, keeping you from your family, friends, and community. To preserve your rights and protect your future, you need a dedicated immigration attorney to effectively assert your defense. 

Our relief from removal lawyers at Immigration JD have experience helping clients successfully pursue remedy options, including cancelation of removal, withholding of deportation, granting of asylum, and obtaining waivers of deportation and inadmissibility, to avoid unjust deportation from the U.S.

Immigration lawyers Vivian Khalaf and Omar Abuzir
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    What Happens During a Removal Proceeding?

    Receiving a Notice to Appear from the Department of Homeland Security can feel overwhelming. Understanding what to expect from the process can help. 

    In the NTA, the DHS will outline the reasons for your removal, as well as the charges against you. You will then attend a master calendar hearing. During this hearing, you will be informed of your rights. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to admit to or deny the charges against you. 

    After the master calendar hearing, you will attend the individual hearing. At that time, you and your relief from removal lawyer will present your case to the immigration judge. You will have the opportunity to present evidence and witnesses to support your case. The government attorney will present the case for your removal. 

    After hearing both sides, the judge will make a decision regarding your removal. If relief is granted, you may be allowed to stay in the U.S. Should the judge deny relief, you may pursue an appeal or a motion to reopen or reconsider the case.

    Common Grounds for Removal

    Facing removal from the U.S. can leave you full of uncertainty, especially when you aren’t sure why it’s happening. Understanding the common reasons for removal is important, so you can take the necessary steps to address the situation. Common reasons for removal proceedings include:

    Facing removal from the U.S. can leave you full of uncertainty, especially when you aren’t sure why it’s happening. Understanding the common reasons for removal is important, so you can take the necessary steps to address the situation. Common reasons for removal proceedings include:

    Criminal Convictions

    Criminal convictions may result in the government pursuing a case for removal against you. Offenses that result in deportation include drug offenses, aggravated felonies, and crimes of moral turpitude. 

    Immigration Fraud

    When seeking immigration status, you must provide accurate, complete information. If you knowingly provided false information or otherwise engaged in fraudulent activities to gain immigration benefits, it can lead to removal.

    Immigration Status Violations

    If you entered the U.S. without inspection or stayed longer than the period authorized by your visa, you may be considered unlawfully present. As such, you are subject to removal.

    Violating the terms of your visa can also lead to deportation proceedings. For example, working without authorization or failing to maintain your student status may break the terms of your U.S. immigration status.

    How to Stop Removal Proceedings

    Through exploring and applying for different forms of relief from removal, you may stop the removal proceedings against you. Common forms of relief include:

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    You may qualify for asylum if you suffered persecution or have fear of persecution if you returned to your home country. Such victimization may be the result of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or even membership of a particular social group. Asylum lets you stay in the U.S. and, eventually, may open a path to permanent residency.


    Cancellation of Removal

    This form of relief is available to immigrants who have resided in the United States for a specified period, typically ten years or more, and can demonstrate continuous physical presence, good moral character, and hardship to themselves or qualifying relatives if removed.


    Adjustment of Status

    Immigrants who are eligible to apply for lawful permanent resident status (green card) may seek adjustment of status as a form of relief from removal. This option is available to individuals with approved immigrant petitions, such as immediate relatives of U.S. citizens or employment-based immigrants.


    Temporary Protected Status

    TPS is granted to immigrants from designated countries experiencing ongoing armed conflict, environmental disasters, or other extraordinary conditions. Immigrants granted TPS are allowed to remain in the United States temporarily and are protected from deportation.


    Withholding of Removal

    Similar to asylum, withholding of removal provides protection from deportation to immigrants who can demonstrate a clear probability of persecution in their home country. Unlike asylum, withholding of removal does not offer a pathway to lawful permanent residency or citizenship, but provides temporary protection from removal.


    Protection Under the Convention Against Torture (CAT)

    Immigrants who can establish that they are more likely than not to be tortured if removed to their home country may be eligible for protection under the CAT. This form of relief is available regardless of the immigrant’s immigration status and offers protection from deportation to countries where torture is likely.


    Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

    DACA provides temporary relief from deportation and work authorization to undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as children and meet criteria, including educational or military service requirements.


    Voluntary Departure

    In some cases, immigrants facing removal may choose to voluntarily depart the United States instead of undergoing formal deportation proceedings. Voluntary departure allows individuals to leave the country within a specified timeframe, avoiding penalties associated with deportation.


    U Visa and VAWA

    Immigrant victims of crimes or domestic violence may be eligible for relief under the U visa or Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), providing protection from removal and a pathway to lawful permanent residency.

    Is Relief From Removal Granted Automatically?

    Relief from removal, such as asylum, cancellation of removal, or adjustment of status, is not granted automatically. Immigrants facing removal proceedings must actively pursue relief by presenting their case before an immigration judge or relevant authorities. This involves submitting applications, supporting documentation, and evidence to demonstrate eligibility for the desired form of relief.

    Immigration judges evaluate each case individually, considering factors such as legal eligibility, credible testimony, supporting evidence, and the merits of the applicant’s claims. They may also assess the applicant’s moral character, ties to the community, and risk of harm if removed from the United States.

    While some relief options, such as asylum or withholding of removal, require a showing of persecution or fear of persecution, others, like adjustment of status or cancellation of removal, involve eligibility criteria based on factors such as length of residence, family relationships, or hardship.

    What if the Immigration Judge Denies Relief?

    If an immigration judge denies relief from removal, individuals have the option to appeal the decision to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) within a specified timeframe. The BIA reviews the judge’s decision and considers arguments presented in the appeal. If the BIA upholds the denial, further appeal to federal courts may be possible in some cases. Additionally, immigrants may explore alternative options, such as voluntary departure or seeking relief through humanitarian programs. Consulting with an experienced immigration attorney is crucial for determining the best course of action and maximizing the chances of a successful appeal or alternative relief.

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    Immigration lawyer Omar Abuzir
    Omar A. Abuzir
    Immigration Lawyer
    Chicago immigration lawyer Vivian Khalaf
    Vivian Khalaf
    Immigration Lawyer

    Client Testimonials

    5 stars
    “Working with the lawyers at ImmigrationJD was an experience that was unexpected. It was a breeze obtaining my permanent residency and the attorney was with me every step of the way. The process was exactly as it was explained to me at the start and there were no surprises! I highly recommend this law firm”
    ~Juma Amin
    5 stars
    “It was very difficult for me to be separated from my husband while he was overseas waiting for the processing of his immigration papers at the U.S. embassy. My attorney made the process move quicker than I anticipated by being on top of it and making sure the documents were completed properly and efficiently. I was never kept in the dark and updated frequently. We will be back to ImmigrationJD as soon as my husband is ready to file for citizenship”.

    When You Should Hire an Immigration Lawyer?

    Consider hiring an immigration lawyer whenever you encounter complex immigration issues, such as applying for visas, seeking permanent residency, facing deportation, or navigating legal challenges. An immigration lawyer can provide invaluable guidance, advocacy, and representation throughout the immigration process. He or she can assess your eligibility for various immigration benefits, advise you on the best course of action, and help you prepare and submit necessary documentation.

    If you face complications such as a criminal history, prior immigration violations, or inadmissibility issues, an immigration attorney’s assistance becomes even more crucial. Additionally, if you’re facing removal proceedings, hiring an immigration lawyer is essential for mounting a strong defense, presenting compelling arguments for relief, and advocating for your rights in immigration court.

    FAQs About Removal

    Can I Apply for a Green Card While in Removal Proceedings?

    You can apply for a green card while in removal proceedings. However, your eligibility and the likelihood of success may vary depending on your circumstances, such as the reasons for removal proceedings and your immigration history. It’s crucial to consult with an experienced immigration attorney who can assess your situation, advise you on the best course of action, and guide you through the application process. An attorney can also represent you in immigration court and advocate for your eligibility for adjustment of status or other relief options during removal proceedings.

    What Happens After an Order of Removal?

    After receiving an order of removal, individuals face deportation from the United States. They must comply with the terms of the order, which typically involve leaving the country within a specified timeframe determined by immigration authorities. Failure to depart as ordered may result in further legal consequences, including detention and future immigration restrictions. However, individuals subject to removal may explore legal avenues for relief, such as appealing the decision to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) or seeking other forms of relief from removal, with the assistance of an immigration attorney.

    Is Removal the Same as Deportation?

    Removal and deportation are essentially the same legal process. Removal is the modern term used in immigration law to refer to the formal process of expelling an individual from the United States due to violations of immigration laws. Deportation was the term historically used for this process, but removal now encompasses the broader scope of immigration enforcement actions. Both terms refer to the legal process by which individuals are ordered to leave the country by immigration authorities.

    Will Marrying a U.S. Citizen Stop My Deportation?

    Marrying a U.S. citizen does not automatically stop deportation proceedings. However, it can provide a pathway to adjust your immigration status if you entered the marriage in good faith and meet other eligibility criteria. You may be eligible to apply for a marriage-based green card, but approval depends on your immigration history, criminal record, and compliance with immigration laws.