Immigration Court Removal Defense


I have represented numerous individuals in the Baltimore, Arlington, and York Immigration Courts.  Permanent residents convicted (or accused) of certain crimes can be placed in removal (deportation) proceedings.  Sometimes, that happens after they travel outside of the United States or when they apply for Citizenship, or at the time of the release or arrest for the crime.   Individuals that entered without inspection are also likely to be taken into ICE custody if arrested or cited in certain jurisdictions, for certain crimes, or just bad luck.  If placed in removal proceedings, there will be an opportunity for bond and to apply for applications for relief within the discreation of the Immigration Court. 

Defensive Asylum

A defensive application for asylum occurs when you request asylum as a defense against removal from the U.S. For asylum processing to be defensive, you must be in removal proceedings in immigration court with the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR).

Individuals are generally placed into defensive asylum processing in one of two ways:· 

  • They are referred to an Immigration Judge by USCIS after they have been determined to be ineligible for asylum at the end of the affirmative asylum process, or 

  • They are placed in removal proceedings because they:

    • Were apprehended (or caught) in the United States or at a U.S. port of entry without proper legal documents or in violation of their immigration status,OR

    • Were caught by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) trying to enter the United States without proper documentation, were placed in the expedited removal process, and were found to have a credible fear of persecution or torture by an Asylum Officer. For more information on the Credible Fear Process, see the “Questions & Answers: Credible Fear Screenings” link to the right.

Immigration Judges hear defensive asylum cases in adversarial (courtroom-like) proceedings. The judge will hear arguments from both of the following parties: 

  • The individual (and his or her attorney, if represented)· 

  • The U.S. Government, which is represented by an attorney from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

Adjustment of Status

Sometimes, we can help you adjust status while in removal proceedings.  It would usually require that you were inspected upon entry and that an elligible spouse, child or sometimes parent can file a petition for you. 

Voluntary Departure

When all else fails, we try to get voluntary departure.  That means that you would be allowed to leave the United States on your own.  If the request is made while at the Master Calendar, then you can get 120 days to leave the country.  If the request is made at the Individual Hearing stage, then you only get 60 days.  You of course have to be elligible for voluntary departure.


Cancellation of Removal

There are two types of cancellation of removal, 240 A(a) for permanent residents and 240A(b) for non-permanent residents. §240A(a), cancellation is available for any LPR who—

1) Has been an LPR for not less than five years; and
2) Has resided in the United States for not less than seven years in any status; and
3) Has not been convicted of an aggravated felony.

§240A(b), cancellation is available to a non-permanent resident of the United States in any immigration status who--

1) Has continuously resided in the United States for at least ten years; and

2) Has been a person of good moral character throughout this time; and

3) Is not otherwise subject to criminal bars arising from a conviction of any crime outlined in INA §212(a)(2), §237(a)(2), or §237(a)(3); and

4) Establishes that removal would result in "exceptional and extremely unusual hardship" to the alien's spouse, parent, or child who is a United States citizen or legal permanent resident.