Broad policy changes, combined with never-before-seen backlogs in the nation’s immigration courts, are making the process of defending against deportation even more daunting. Under previous administrations, immigration agencies recognized that the government had limited resources, and limited interest, in deporting all undocumented persons living in the U.S. Under new guidance however, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is instructed to vastly expand the categories of persons who are considered “priorities” for deportation. Additionally, new policies severely limit when immigration officials may exercise discretion to refrain from placing an individual into deportation proceedings.

Removal or Deportation Proceedings

Removal proceedings, commonly known as deportation proceedings, are initiated through the service of a Notice to Appear (NTA), or a charging document, which sets forth the government's allegations against the foreign national and the basis for removability/deportation from the United States. Once the NTA is delivered to the Immigration Court, the Court will issue the foreign national a hearing notice, which details the date and place where they must appear for removal proceedings.

Recent policies (1) expand the grounds for issuance of NTAs; (2) substantially eliminate agency discretion over whether or when to issue NTAs, and state that USCIS and/or ICE “shall” or “must” issue NTAs in most of the enumerated circumstances; (3) direct USCIS to issue more NTAs, rather than referring to ICE for ICE to exercise its discretion; and (4) limit room for prosecutorial discretion.

For more details, please reference the recent USCIS memorandum as well as the previous USCIS guidance.

Our Deportation Defense Attorneys

Our immigration attorneys are working harder than ever to defend against broad, new policy changes in order to ensure the due process rights of all individuals living in the United States. Our attorneys work with clients to identify and prepare an appropriate removal defense strategy including: Termination of Removal Proceedings / Administrative Closure, In-Court Adjustment of Status, Cancellation of Removal, Asylum/Withholding/Convention Against Torture, Waivers, and other defenses as available.

Contact Grossman Young & Hammond now to discuss your deportation defense options and how our experienced attorneys can help.

Attorneys:  Claudia Cedeno