President Trump announced last month that he was going to initiate a series of raids to deport people with orders of deportation. He postponed those raids, and then announced on July 10, 2019 that he would again institute them within a few days. These raids are targeting people who have prior orders of deportation. There are over a million people living in the U.S. with such final orders. However, it is important to note that an order of deportation may not be the end of the world.
Persons with prior orders of deportation may have a way to reopen their case and thus stop their impending deportation. There are many different grounds upon which one can bring a Motion to Reopen. These include, but are not limited to: 1) abuse of discretion on the part of the immigration judge, 2) changed circumstances occurring since the adjudication of an application for relief, 3) ineffective assistance of counsel; or 4) lack of notice of the proceedings resulting in an order of deportation. This is by no means an extensive list of grounds upon which a motion may be brought. Some motions to reopen are also restricted as to time and number.
However, the motions must be filed with the proper court before one is actually removed from the U.S. in order to remain in the U.S. while their case is pending. Although people may file a motion to reopen from outside the U.S., if they want to stay in the U.S., then those motions must be filed before being removed from the U.S.
What does this mean? It is important to speak to an attorney now to see if there are options to reopen your case before it is too late. Or, if you are already outside of the U.S., you may be able to fight the case by filing a Motion to Reopen removal proceedings – even now.
The widespread ICE raids and strict immigration policies are becoming more and more prevalent. If you are in the U.S. without lawful status, or have a prior order of deportation, it is more important than ever to consult an experienced and knowledgeable immigration attorney concerning eligibility for lawful status, or of filing a motion to reopen a prior order of deportation.