Common types of relief from removal for an undocumented immigrant

There are several ways for an undocumented immigrant to avoid deportation. Each of them is discussed in more detail below.

Cancellation of Removal

If an undocumented immigrant has been in the country for more than 10 years, they did not leave for an extended period of time, they have a strong moral character and they have a relative who is a permanent resident or a United States citizen they may request a cancellation of deportation. Under this status the individual may be allowed to remain in the United States for up to five years while their case for a green card is considered by the courts.

To prove you have been in the United States for ten years the court will need information. Information can include medical and employment records, pay stubs, tax records, school records and cancelled checks. Next, you must prove you have "good moral character," which basically means you have not committed any crime. Finally, you must prove you have a parent, spouse or child who is a United States citizen or a permanent resident and your removal would cause "exceptional and extremely unusual hardship".

Asylum and Withholding of Deportation

Next, an undocumented immigrant may be able to avoid deportation if they can prove they have a well founded fear they could be persecuted if they return to their home country. The court will require evidence that there is a "clear probability" of persecution if they go back home.

Persecution or the fear of persecution should be based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership to a particular social group. To request asylum an I-589 must be presented to the court. Information on the application must be accurate and should be submitted within one year from the date the applicant entered the United States, although this is not required. If the application is not filed within one year the applicant should be able to present evidence that "the delay in the filing was due to extraordinary circumstances."

Talk to an immigration lawyer for more information about seeking asylum. Consider, at the hearing the government will have an attorney present who can present evidence that you are not qualified for asylum. It’s important that you have an immigration lawyer to present your case before the judge renders their decision. If you are denied asylum you may appeal the decision with the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), but these appears are generally denied.

Voluntary Departure

Undocumented aliens may also agree to leave the United States without an order of removal by conceding to leave voluntarily. Voluntary departure may allow the individual to legally reenter the United States in the future, which is not possible for at least 10 years if they are deported.

Several other actions exist to avoid deportation including, an adjustment of status, most likely under Immigration and Nationality Act (I.N.A.) Section 245 or 245(i), adjustment of status through "registry" under I.N.A. Section 249, withholding of removal, protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT), cancellation under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), NACARA special rule cancellation, private bills, and deferred action. Talk to a lawyer for more information about your case.

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