Immigrants in New York who are facing deportation may be feeling overwhelming confusion and sadness about their futures. Many of these individuals wish to stay in the United States but are unaware of their options for doing so. Here are just a few ways that immigration law addresses avoiding removal.
In some cases, qualifying lawful permanent residents or nonpermanent residents can apply for a cancellation of removal. An application for a cancellation of removal must be made during a hearing in front of an immigration judge. It is then up to the judge's discretion to adjust the applicant's status from being listed as deportable to lawfully admitted.
There are also options for a person who is in the United States on a visa that permits an adjustment of status. These visas are often -- although not always -- petitioned on behalf of the immigrant by a family member, spouse or even an employer. An adjustment of status changes a person's immigration status from that of temporary nonimmigrant to a permanent resident and can effectively stop a deportation order.
In the event that these and other forms of relief are not possible, a person may choose to voluntarily depart the country. In a voluntary departure, an individual acknowledges that he or she is facing deportation and is given a period of time to leave the country. While this can be distressing, it gives people the opportunity to leave the country without a bar on asking for admission at any port of entry.
These are just a few options for individuals who want to avoid the stigmatizing impact of a deportation. However, immigration law is complex and avoiding deportation is a fairly involved process. Whether a person wants to apply for asylum, have one's status adjusted, leave voluntarily or take another route, working with an experienced attorney in New York can help individuals understand the long-term consequences of these various options.