Appealing the Deportation

Deportation Appeal Process

When a non-citizen commits an infraction against the U.S., either criminal or an action that is otherwise deemed to be a threat to the United States, they may be processed for deportation. For many immigrants, this can be a scary process, particularly if they know that a poor outlook awaits them in their home country. Depending on the reason for the deportation, immigrants are still generally given due process. This means that those being deported can often appeal the deportation decision, giving them a chance to state their cases to the U.S. government in hopes of either being allowed to stay or at least retaining the opportunity to travel back and forth across the border.


However, like any other immigration process, appealing a deportation is no walk in the park. There is a ton of paperwork involved and in some instances, it is not a possibility. For example, those that were found to be in the country illegally with no immigration paperwork at all or those that have been arrested and subsequently convicted of a criminal offense have little chance of overturning a deportation order.

However, those that are being deported because of an issue of paperwork, mistaken identity or some other similar mix up may appeal the decision. The key to doing so successfully is by utilizing the services of a seasoned attorney that has plenty of experience in this arena. However, because the person in question is not a naturalized U.S. citizen, the U.S. government will not pay for a lawyer for the individual in question. For most immigrants, the affordability - or lack thereof - for a private attorney can be a roadblock to defending themselves in a deportation hearing. The other tricky part of the appeals process is that it is a court proceeding that doesn't run much like the one seen on TV. The person doesn't get to say anything on their own behalf; in fact, there is little to no oral argument at all. For the most part, the decision is made based on legal briefs submitted by attorneys for both sides.

The deportee must prove that the mistake was made in error and provide all supporting documentation to back up that claim. Even in this instance, the decision may still be made to deport the person in question and in this case, a motion to reconsider may be filed. The person must then prove that the judge made a mistake and didn't consider facts or law to back up the deportation decision. A good example of this is a person being deported for working illegally in the U.S., but at the hearing, the person provided paperwork proving they did, in fact, have permission to work in the country. This would be grounds for a reversal.

However, each situation is different and should be approached as such. Winning a deportation appeal is challenging, but possible, as long as the deportee has solid legal representation and facts that don't support deportation on their side.