Hiring a Removal Defense Lawyer

Hiring a Removal Defense Lawyer

Removal defense is the process of representing immigrants who are facing deportation from the U.S. and advocating for their residency. Removal proceedings put the immigrant before an immigration judge. Without legal representation, the chances of appealing a removal order are significantly lessened.

Scott D. Pollock & Associates, P.C. offers removal defense services with a track record of success. Do not risk deportation because you think the ruling will fall in your favor. Hire an experienced immigration attorney to represent you and appeal the removal order. 

Immigration Removal Defenses

There are a number of strategies an attorney can use to help you avoid deportation or removal. Depending on your specific circumstances, your legal team will advise you on which method gives you the best chance for success. Below are some of the most common ways to defend against removal. 

Permanent Residency/Adjustment of Status Applications

If someone files a green card application before they are placed into removal proceedings, they may be able to use that as a defense to deportation. If the application is based on an approved immigrant visa petition, there is a higher likelihood of success. Usually, this argument will involve a family-based petition, but it can also be used with an employment-based or marriage-based petition. 

Criminal Waivers

Sometimes permanent residents face deportation because of a criminal past. Depending on the crimes that were committed, an individual may be able to have those crimes waived with a criminal waiver. Form 212(c), 212(h), and EOIR-42A, Cancellation of Removal for Legal Permanent Residents, are all available to permanent residents who are being charged due to their crimes. 

If an individual is not yet a permanent resident, they may apply for residency along with their 212(h) to have their crime waived ahead of time. This could prevent a denial. 

Noncriminal Waivers

Immigration status sometimes hinges on acts that are not quite criminal but are indicative of bad character. Behaviors like lying, entering the country while inadmissible, and bringing family members into the U.S. may require the individual to fill out a noncriminal waiver before they can qualify for certain benefits. Noncriminal waivers are usually filled out concurrently with other applications, but may be used to prevent a deportation. 

Form I-751 Renewal

If an individual comes to the U.S. on a conditional green card, there are certain benefits of which they do not have access. Form I-751, Removal of Conditional Residence is used to remove those conditions when the time comes. 

A conditional permanent resident may be charged with deportability because they did not file an I-751 form or it was denied. Properly renewing this form can be an adequate defense to removal.

U Visas 

Individuals who are involved in a crime but help with the investigation of that crime may be eligible for a U visa status. A U visa grants work authorization in the U.S. and––if approved––can lead to the termination of removal proceedings.

Safety and Protection

Residents in the U.S. who were harmed in the past or fear that they will be harmed if they return to their original country may be eligible for removal defense. Political asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the Convention Against Torture Act all protect immigrants from returning to dangerous situations. 

If an applicant can show how they suffered and why they are afraid of further suffering, they may use that to prevent deportation. The harm must rise to the level of persecution and be based on race, nationality, religion, political opinion, or social group membership.


Individuals who were brought into the U.S. as children, attended school here, and haven’t been outside of the U.S. for a certain period of time can apply for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Before filing any DACA-related applications, individuals should speak with an immigration lawyer about the current status of DACA laws. 

Motion to Terminate or Suppress

An applicant can request that the immigration court terminate proceedings if the information/charges on the Notice to Appear are incorrect. An individual can also request the immigration court to suppress evidence and terminate proceedings if they were detained in a way that violates immigration regulations or the constitutional due process. While these motions may only delay removal proceedings, they can provide enough time to build a more secure defense. 

Temporary Protections

Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, occurs when the U.S. government designates specific countries as unsafe to return to. For example, if a country’s government is unable to handle the return of its refugees after a period of war or political unrest. 

Individuals from certain countries who entered the U.S. before certain dates may be able to forego removal under the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA). TPS and NACARA are both dependent on specific details, so check with a lawyer to see if you qualify for either one. 


The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) protects those who were victims of certain domestic violence crimes. VAWA can be used to cancel removal under the idea that returning home would be harmful.

EOIR-428 Petition

Individuals may be eligible to apply for an EOIR-428, Non-Legal Permanent Resident Cancellation of Removal, if they meet the following three requirements:

  1. Physically present in the U.S. for at least 10 years prior to immigration court proceedings
  2. Shown good moral character for 10 years
  3. Able to prove the child, spouse, or parent of a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident will suffer exceptionally unusual hardship if the applicant cannot stay in the U.S.

Those who file EOIR-428 are eligible for work permits while the application is under review. 

Voluntary Departure

If an individual does not qualify for any of these removal defense options, they may opt to depart voluntarily. If an immigrant is eligible to return home and obtain a visa then come back to the U.S., voluntary departure may be more beneficial than removal/deportation. 

There are additional restraints with deportation that are not present with voluntary departure. It should be noted that not everybody is eligible for voluntary departure. 

How Can a Lawyer Help?

Immigration lawyers specializing in deportation have knowledge of applicable regulations and expectations that can help you achieve your goal. Language and accessibility barriers can make even the simple steps appear difficult. 

A deportation attorney could help you do the following:

  • Show that you are a U.S. citizen through a parent or grandparent.
  • Argue that you qualify for asylum due to the fear or persecution in your country.
  • Argue that the immigration court’s charges are false or inconsistent with grounds of removability in U.S. laws.
  • Help you present a cancellation of removal application and earn a green card if you have spent years in the U.S. and shown good moral character.
  • Ask the judge for a green card as the immediate relative of a U.S. citizen or relative with a visa number and priority date.

Even if you are already confident that you qualify for one of the above defenses, an immigration lawyer will help you make the best possible argument. Your lawyer can fill out forms, write legal briefs, prepare you (and other witnesses) to testify, and help prepare documents as evidence. 

Scott D. Pollock & Associates, P.C. Removal Defense Lawyers

Although we are based in Chicago, Scott D. Pollock & Associates, P.C. is an immigration law firm that helps individuals throughout the country. We have the knowledge and training necessary to help you avoid unlawful deportation or removal and earn you lawful residence.

The sooner you reach out to us, the better, as deadlines are very important to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Fill out our online contact form to get started.

We're looking forward to hearing from you!