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Are there any forms of relief for those facing removal?

Immigration Services

People immigrate to the United States with a dream of a better life, but sometimes life throws them a curveball and they find themselves facing removal, also known as deportation. Such a situation may seem hopeless, but it is not. If a person in Kentucky is facing deportation and removal from the United States and back to their home country, there are several avenues of relief they may pursue in order to stay in the country.

Some forms of relief are discretionary. With discretionary relief, it is the burden of the person facing removal to demonstrate that per law they can stay in the country and that they deserve not to be removed, should the judge allow it.

One type of discretionary relief is cancellation of removal. This relief may be applicable to those who are already lawful permanent residents. In some cases, it may also be applicable to those who are not permanent residents. Through this relief, a person's status is changed to "lawfully admitted for permanent residence." This type of relief can be requested during the person's removal hearing.

Another type of discretionary relief is asylum. Asylum can be granted to refugees. A refugee is a person who cannot go back to their home country due to having previously been persecuted based on being part of a protected category. Also, a person may be considered a refugee if there is the good possibility that such persecution would occur if they were removed from the United States.

A third type of discretionary relief is adjustment of status. Through adjustment of status, a person will be considered a permanent resident rather than a temporary nonimmigrant. Oftentimes a person's relative or employer will petition the person for an adjustment of status visa.

Other forms of relief are administrative or judicial. These are like an appeal, as they are sought after an immigration judge has made a decision at a hearing. If an immigration judge decides a person should be reviewed, the person has 30 days to appeal the order to the Board of Immigration Appeals. If a person disagrees with the decision made by the Board of Immigration Appeals, they have 30 days appeal to the Federal Courts of Appeal.

Of course, any of these types of relief are complex. When there is so much on the line, it is best not to handle removal proceedings alone. An immigration attorney can be a valuable resource to those who are facing removal, and need representation.

Source: FindLaw, "Avoiding Removal," Accessed Oct. 30, 2017

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