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Relief from deportation is possible, but knowledge is key

When a U.S. immigration judge determines that an immigrant is deportable, a few avenues of relief are still available. Anyone facing removal proceedings in Florida needs to respond quickly, however, in order to avoid deportation.

One form of relief from removal is asylum. To be granted asylum immigrants must prove a well-founded fear that if they are returned to their home country they will be persecuted on the basis of race, religion, political beliefs or other factors.

Some non-permanent resident aliens may qualify for an adjustment of status, which will change their immigration status to that of legal permanent resident. If the immigration judge grants an adjustment of status, removal proceedings will be cancelled. Those who have committed a crime or failed to show up for immigration court proceedings may not be eligible for this form of relief.

As a last resort an immigrant facing removal can request permission for a voluntary departure. If the immigrant receives permission to leave the country voluntarily, there will be no formal removal order on their record. This may allow the immigrant to seek admission to the U.S. at a later date.

Once removal proceedings are concluded the immigrant still has the right to appeal the decision or seek administrative or judicial relief. These forms of relief can be pursued when the immigrant believes the judge applied the law incorrectly. Successfully pursuing this relief requires prompt action and an in-depth knowledge of U.S. immigration law.

Removal from the United States can be a terrifying prospect for immigrants and their families. Those who are in this situation can benefit from consulting a knowledgeable immigration lawyer.

Source: Findlaw.com, "Avoiding Removal," accessed Oct. 2, 2016

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