What to do if a Family Member is Facing Deportation

If you have a family member who is accused of having spent time in the United States without lawful permission, or who has violated the terms of their immigration status, then deportation is a real possibility. Once removed from the United States it will become extremely difficult for them to return, so it is important that you do everything in your power to prevent the deportation from happening. Though preventing a deportation is a challenge, there are a few legal options.

  • The first (and best) way to stop a deportation is to prove that your family member is a U.S. citizen. If they were born in the United States, were born in another country but had one parent who was a U.S. citizen prior to their birth, if they were found in the United States while under the age of five with unknown parents, or if they were born in another country but had one or both parents naturalized while they were under 18 and living lawfully in the U.S., this is a possibility.
  • If your family member has been a lawful permanent resident for at least five years, has lived in the U.S. continuously for 7 years after having been admitted to the U.S. and is facing deportation due to a criminal conviction that is not for an aggravated felony, then cancellation of removal is a possibility.
  • Your family member can appeal their deportation by applying for asylum within one year of their arrival in the United States. Asylum is only available to those who have either been harmed or who fear being harmed in their country based on their race, religion, nationality, actual or suspected political opinion, or membership in a particular group (such as a political party, sexual preference, human rights group, etc.)
  • Your family member may also be able to avoid deportation by demonstrating that their status has changed based on having married a U.S. citizen, being the parent of a U.S. citizen, or having a parent who is a U.S. citizen. In this case the citizen will need to file a family petition, though if the individual facing deportation is an abused spouse, parent or child they can file a petition for themselves.

America’s immigration laws are complex. If you need assistance in helping yourself or a relative to avoid deportation, our experienced and knowledgeable immigration attorneys can help. Call us today.