from the United States
Relief from Deporation/Removal
When an alien is placed into removal proceedings the
wheels of uncertainty begin to spin. Family members
are often left in a state of panic, confusion, depression
and financial despair and often don’t know who
to turn to for help. Getting information or simply trying
to locate an alien who has been taken into custody can
become time consuming and frustrating.
We have successfully represented many clients placed
in removal proceedings in California and Arizona. We
take on cases that we believe have a chance of winning.
Generally, our clients are informed at the initial consultation
if we can help them with their removal case. Before
we agree to represent a client in removal proceedings,
we evaluate the client’s case to determine whether
immigration relief is available to the client and the
chances of getting that relief granted by the immigration
judge. We also determine whether the client can be released
on bond and whether the case, if located in another
city or state can be moved to an immigration court closer
to the client’s home.
The Department of Homeland Security often transfers
aliens in removal proceedings out of State and houses
them in detention centers such as the Eloy Detention
Center located in Eloy, Arizona. A detention center
will usually have onsite immigration judges who hear
If necessary, we will order a client’s immigration
file from the Department of Homeland Security and their
criminal histories from the FBI and California Department
of Justice to assist us in evaluating their removal
An alien may be placed into removal proceedings for
many reasons. These reasons are referred to as grounds
of inadmissibility and grounds of deportability. In
many instances, aliens are placed in removal proceeding
because of their criminal history and/or illegal status.
For aliens placed into removal proceedings because of
a criminal conviction, our immigration attorneys are
highly experienced in determining the effect that a
conviction or convictions will have on an alien’s
immigration status. In addition, our attorneys will
explore with a qualified criminal attorney the possibility
of vacating, expunging or reducing a criminal conviction
when it is beneficial to the alien’s removal case
to do so.
Immigration court proceedings generally consist of a
bond hearing and removal hearings. At a Bond hearing,
the immigration judge will decide whether the alien
should be released on bond while removal proceedings
are pending. At the Master Calendar hearing, an alien
will admit or deny the allegations in the charging document
called the Notice to Appear, concede or deny removability
and inform the immigration judge of the immigration
relief that the alien will be applying for to avoid
being removed from the United States.
At the Merits hearing, (also referred to as the Final,
Regular or Individual hearing), the immigration judge
will make determine if the alien gets to stay in the
United States or will have to leave after hearing all
the hearing presented by the attorney for the alien
and the U.S. government’s attorney. At the hearing,
the alien’s attorney will present documents, take
testimony on direct examination from the alien, the
alien’s family members and any expert witnesses.
The government attorney will also be given an opportunity
to cross-exam any witnesses presented by the alien’s
We provide represent clients at all hearings, including
the bond, master and merit’s hearings in California,
Arizona and any other State. Aliens placed in removal
proceedings or their family members can contact the
Law Offices of Raul Ray at (408) 279-5793 at anytime
during the week or on weekends or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Immigration Relief from
If you are challenging your removal from the United
States and will be applying for immigration relief to
avoid removal, it is very important to prepare your
case well. The immigration judge will set a “Merits”
hearing to determine whether you should be allowed to
stay in the United States.
There are various forms of immigration relief that an
alien can apply for in removal proceedings in order
to preserve their legal status or to obtain their permanent
resident status. We know what it takes to win in removal
proceedings. We assess the best immigration relief available
to our client, prepare that relief with help from the
alien and their family members and aggressively represent
the alien at the final hearing.
During removal proceedings, the immigration judge has
the final say to grant or deny immigration relief. An
alien may be eligible for immigration relief including
but not limited to the following Cancellation of
Removal, Adjustment of Status, 212 (c) waiver, 212(i)
and 212(h) waivers, Asylum, Withholding of Removal and
Convention against Torture.
1. Cancellation of Removal
This is an important legal remedy for both permanent
and non-permanent residents who are in immigration court
removal/deportation proceedings. This important form
of relief is available for lawful permanent residents
who have resided continuously in the U.S. for at least
five (5) years as permanent residents and have resided
continuously in the U.S. in any lawful status for at
least seven (7) years. The alien must essentially demonstrate
that there are more positive factors than negatives
to justify being allowed to stay in the United States.
In addition, a lawful permanent resident must not have
been convicted of an aggravated felony.
In order for a nonresident to qualify for Cancellation
of Removal for Non Permanent Residents, an alien must
have resided in the U.S. continuously for ten (10) years
after entering the United States without inspection,
(illegally). The alien must establish good moral character
during the 10 year period preceding the decision made
, The alien must also demonstrate that his/her removal
would result in exceptional and extremely unusual hardship
to a qualifying relatives, a US citizen or lawful permanent
resident parent, spouse or child residing in the U.S.
The hardship requirement is a very difficult standard
to meet and aliens are encourage to retain an experience
attorney to help they in removal proceedings.
2. Adjustment of Status
If eligible to apply in the United States, certain aliens
can also avoid being removed by applying for a green
card through a family member.
3. 212(c ) waiver
A 212(c) waiver is available to eliminate certain criminal
convictions including those considered to be aggravated
felony convictions if the alien:
a. Plead, (as oppose to going to trial), to criminal
charges before April 24, 1996;
b. Is a lawful permanent resident
c. had a green card for at least seven consecutive years
prior to the date of final order of deportation.
d. Is not subject to deportation or removal on the grounds
of terrorism or national security.
e. Is not unlawfully present in the United States after
a previous immigration violation, or have been convicted
of a firearms offense, or have been convicted of an
aggravated felony offense (or offenses) for which he
served at least five years in prison.
4. 212(i) and 212(h) waivers
An alien may also apply for a waiver under section 212(i)
of the INA for fraud or misrepresentation and under
section 212(h) of the INA for crimes of moral turpitude
if the alien is placed in removal proceedings.
Asylum may be granted to aliens who are already in the
United States and are unable to return to their home
country because of persecution or a well-founded fear
of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality,
membership in a particular social group or political
An alien must file an asylum application within one
year of arrival in the United States. An asylum application
may be filed later than a year, if conditions in the
home country have changed or if the alien’s personal
circumstances have changed within the past year prior
to requesting for asylum and those change of circumstances
affected the alien’s eligibility for asylum.
Furthermore, an alien may be excused from the one year
filing deadline if extraordinary circumstances prevented
the alien from filing within the one year period after
arriving in the United States, so long as asylum application
is submitted within a reasonable period of time in light
of those circumstances.
An alien granted asylum will be able to apply for permanent
resident status one year after being granted asylum
6. Withholding of Removal
Withholding of Removal is an alternative form of
relief for an individual fearing persecution in her
country of origin. To win “Withholding”
an alien must demonstrate that he or she is “more
likely than not” to face persecution if returned
to his or her country.
An individual is not eligible
for withholding of removal if he is a persecutor or
has been convicted of a particularly serious crime.
Aliens who win “withholding” have a final
order of removal (deportation) against them. However,
they can remain in the U.S. and work legally.
Unlike asylees, however, aliens granted “Withholding”
do not have the right to apply for legal permanent residence.
7. Convention Against Torture
To obtain C.A.T. relief, an alien must demonstrate that
it is more likely than not that you will be tortured,
killed or sustain great bodily injury if you are returned
to your home country;
An alien who has been granted CAT cannot be removed
to the country in which he would face torture. However,
a CAT grantee has no ability to obtain legal permanent
residence, to travel abroad, or to sponsor family members.
Furthermore, CAT grantees are not guaranteed the ability
to obtain employment authorization or even the right
to be released from detention.
8. Voluntary Departure
This form of relief, if granted by an immigration judge,
will avoid a removal order and thereby allow you to
return to the U.S. without a mandatory 5 or 10 year
bar of reentry which would otherwise result from a removal
or deportation order.
An Immigration Judge can grant up to 120 days of voluntary
departure time if voluntary departure is requested at
the Master Calendar hearing, (prehearing voluntary departure)
or 60 days if requested at the Individual hearing.
A showing of good moral character is not required for
prehearing voluntary departure. However, good moral
character is required if voluntary departure is requested
at the Individual hearing, along with a showing of being
physically present in the USA at least 1 year prior
to being served with the Notice to Appear.
A $500.00 bond will also be required by the Immigration
judge if voluntary departure is requested at the Individual
hearing. An alien convicted of an aggravated felony
is ineligible for voluntary departure at either the
Master Calendar or Individual hearing stage.
Bond for Aliens in Custody
A person can be placed into removal proceedings without
being taken into custody. On the other hand, immigration
customs and enforcement, (ICE), can take an alien into
custody and set a bond amount if the alien is not subject
to mandatory detention. If an alien is subject to mandatory
detention, no bond will be permitted.
ICE will initially set bond at an amount that they believe
will ensure the alien’s appearance at future immigration
court hearings. If an alien establishes that they are
not a flight risk and a danger to the community along
with a showing that immigration relief is available
to the alien, then there is a good chance that ICE will
grant bond. The bond money will be returned to the person
who paid it after removal proceedings are completed
and bond conditions fulfilled.
If ICE grants high bonds or denies bond, the alien can
request a bond re-determination before an immigration
judge after he is placed into removal proceedings.
After bond has been granted by ICE, the amount of the
bond can be challenged later at a hearing before an
immigration judge, or even later before the Board of
Immigration Appeals. The hearing to challenge the bond
amount is referred to as a “bond redetermination
hearing”, which means that the bond could be decreased,
remain the same, or even be increased.
The minimum amount of an immigration bond is $1,500.
A person can be placed into removal proceedings without
being taken into custody.
ICE must take into custody without bond, all aliens
who are inadmissible because of criminal convictions.
Lawful permanent residents are also subject to mandatory
detention without bond if they have been convicted of
an aggravated felony, two or more crimes of moral turpitude
or control substances and the completion of sentence
occurred after October 18, 1998.
Our attorneys are ready to represent clients at bond
hearings in Arizona, California or any other State.
If you need help, contact the Law Office of Raul Ray
at (408) 279-5793.