Our attorneys frequently represent foreign nationals in removal (deportation) proceedings before the Immigration Court and the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). Individuals facing removal from the United States may be eligible for a wide range of immigration benefits or relief from removal, which may prevent their physical removal from the United States and lead to permanent residence and eventual citizenship in the United States.
A foreign national may be eligible for relief from removal based upon a qualifying family relationship with a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or a person granted humanitarian status or relief in the United States. Foreign nationals may also be eligible for humanitarian relief in the United States based upon conditions in their home countries or as a result of past abuse or mistreatment, including Asylum, Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) Status, Withholding of Removal, and Temporary Protected Status (TPS), among others. Many of these benefits, but not all, provide paths to permanent residence and eventually to citizenship in the United States.
Unfortunately, a substantial majority of foreign nationals in removal proceedings are unaware of these possible forms of relief. A recent study by the American Immigration Council (AIC) showed that foreign nationals in removal proceedings are at least twice as likely to be granted relief from removal if they are represented by an attorney (detained individuals are at least five times as likely to be granted relief if represented by an attorney). Despite this disparity, however, only 37% of foreign nationals in removal proceedings retain an attorney to represent them in removal proceedings. Considering these sobering numbers, we strongly encourage any foreign nationals facing removal proceedings to consult with a competent immigration attorney at the earliest opportunity in their proceedings.