Non-citizens facing deportation proceedings in Nevada may be able to remain in the United States by way of such measures as (1) cancellation of removal, (2) prosecutorial discretion, (3) asylum, (4) voluntary departure, or other visa and waiver options that may put a stop to deportation.
Depending on the foreigner’s case, there are various measures a Nevada immigration attorney can take to avoid and prevent the client’s deportation and hopefully safeguard his or her resident status.
Click below on a frequently-asked-question about ways to fight deportation in Nevada:
- 1. Can “cancellation of removal for non-permanent residents” stop deportation in Nevada?
- 2. Can “prosecutorial discretion” stop deportation?
- 3. Can “political asylum” prevent deportation?
- 4. Can “voluntary departure” avoid deportation?
- 5. Other options for halting deportation in Nevada.
Section 240A of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) is called Cancellation of Removal. Cancellation of removal petitions allows the Attorney General to cease deportation proceedings based on certain criteria depending on whether the foreigner has a green card or not. This is the most common “deportation defense.”
In cases where the alien is a permanent resident, the Attorney General usually may cancel removal if the alien:
- has been an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence for not less than 5 years,
- has resided in the United States continuously for 7 years after having been admitted in any status, and
- has not been convicted of an aggravated felony.
In cases where the alien is a non-permanent resident, the Attorney General usually may cancel removal…and adjust his/her status to a permanent resident…if the alien:
- has been physically present in the U.S. for a continuous period of not less than 10 years immediately preceding the date of such application,
- has been a person of good moral character during such period,
- has not been convicted of certain deportable offenses, and
- establishes that removal would result in exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to the alien’s spouse, parent, or child, who is a U.S. citizen or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence.
Learn more about cancellation of removal for permanent residents in Nevada.
Like it sounds, prosecutorial discretion allows Department of Homeland Security officers to use their professional discretion to dismiss deportation cases even if the non-citizen is lawfully deportable. Common factors prosecutors consider when determining whether to terminate a deportation proceeding include:
- limitation of judicial and prosecutorial resources
- governmental priorities, and
- A surplus of cases that deserve more attention.
Aliens may even appeal to prosecutors to stop deportation based on humanitarian reasons. Learn more about prosecutorial discretion in Nevada immigration cases.
A foreigner allegedly in the U.S. illegally may attempt to prevent deportation by receiving asylum status. In order to qualify for asylum, the foreigner must show the following:
- The alien meets the definition of refugee, which means he/she is unable or unwilling to go back to his/her home country because of a well-founded fear of persecution on the basis of his/her race, religion, nationality, political opinion or social group,
- The alien is currently residing in the U.S., and
- The alien is requesting admission at a port of entry.
There is no fee to file an asylum application, USCIS Form I-589, but the alien must submit it within a year of arriving in the U.S. After one year of becoming an asylee, the alien may apply for legal permanent residence by submitting a USCIS Form I-485. Learn more about asylum laws.
As a last resort, an alien facing deportation may be able to get permission from the Attorney General to leave the U.S. on his/her own accord. The alien just has to be sure to exercise voluntary departure in the time-frame laid out by the Attorney General; otherwise, the alien faces a fine and 10-year bar from deportation relief.
The downside of voluntary departure is that it causes the alien to effectively admit that he/she is deportable. The upside is that voluntary departure does not serve as a bar of admission if he/she wants to try to enter the U.S. again down the line. Learn more about voluntary departure laws.
Non-citizen victims of violent crimes may be able to escape deportation through a U Visa. U visa requirements include:
- The alien has suffered substantial physical and/or mental abuse from the crime at issue,
- The alien has certification that he/she will aid the police in investigating the abuse allegations,
- The alien has information relating to the abuse he/she suffered, and
- This abuse broke U.S. law.
Although U visas are non-immigrant visas, which means they do not guarantee permanent legal status, U visa recipients may later be able to adjust their status to permanent. Learn more about U-Visas in Nevada.
The majority of I-601 waiver applications turn on demonstrating that 1) an immediate relative of the alien is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, and 2) that relative would face extreme hardship if the alien left the U.S. Obviously this is a very subjective criteria, and so the alien is encouraged to submit ample evidence with his/her application. Also see our article on provisional unlawful presence waivers.
Facing deportation in Nevada? We can help.
There are many reasons why foreigners in Nevada may be threatened with deportation procedures. Just some of the grounds for deportation include include conviction for Nevada crimes that cause deportation, immigration status violations, falsified immigration documentation, alleged commission of inadmissible crimes in their home countries, marital fraud for immigration reasons, helping a foreigner unlawfully come into the U.S., and the termination of conditional permanent residence.
If you or a loved one is at risk of deportation or removal in Nevada, call our Las Vegas immigration attorneys. We may be able to prevent deportation and even help pave the way for lawful residency and citizenship.