Withholding of Removal
If you are facing deportation from the U.S. but are ineligible for cancellation of removal, you may be able to apply for withholding of removal under INA section 241(b)(3). At Nicolet Lawyers, our Milwaukee and Chicago deportation defense lawyers regularly go before the EOIR on behalf of foreign nationals. We often represent people in immigration detention facilities, and we can assist people who are serving time after convictions with the bond process. Our immigration lawyers also help foreign nationals obtain work authorizations so that they can return to their jobs once they leave jail.
The attorneys at Nicolet Lawyers take pride in advocating vigorously for people who desperately need assistance at some of the most difficult times in their lives. Our work has a powerful impact on the futures of our clients and their families, saving lives and keeping loved ones together. We are ready to confront obstacles head-on and have handled many matters that the typical immigration lawyer would find too challenging or risky. Our team can counsel foreign nationals who have been placed in deportation proceedings but have not had a hearing scheduled, and we also can guide people through the administrative review process. From our two Chicago offices, we can assist our clients in EOIR hearings, immigration interviews, or other proceedings.Understanding the Withholding of Removal Process
Withholding of removal is a special order issued when a non-citizen demonstrates that there is more than a 50% chance that they will be persecuted in their home country, due to their nationality, race, religion, membership in a social group, or political opinion. Asylum is a somewhat similar form of relief, but it requires that you did not commit a crime involving moral turpitude. Technically, if you have a withholding of removal, you were ordered deported, but the deportation to your home country is withheld because you fear persecution there.
Similar to asylum, withholding of removal protects someone from the possibility of persecution in another country, but the benefits are more limited. However, there is no one-year deadline for filing your application, and if you prove your eligibility, the judge must grant your application.
Withholding of removal is generally the next option to consider if you determine that you cannot realistically obtain cancellation of removal. Regardless of the basis for the withholding application, you may be eligible for withholding unless you helped with Nazi persecution or engaged in genocide, persecuted someone else, were convicted by a final judgment of a particularly serious crime and present a danger to the community, are considered to have committed a serious non-political crime outside the country, or present a danger to national security.
You may wonder how U.S. immigration law defines a particularly serious crime that would prevent you from being eligible for withholding of removal. According to Section 241(b)(3)(B) of the INA, aggravated felonies that result in a prison sentence of at least five years meet this definition. Meanwhile, courts have found that aggravated felonies that result in a prison sentence of less than five years may be classified as particularly serious crimes for withholding of removal purposes based on the following factors:
- The nature of the conviction;
- The circumstances and underlying facts resulting in the conviction;
- The type of sentence that the foreign national received; and
- In some cases, evidence that the type and circumstances of the crime suggest that the foreign national will pose a danger to the community.
Some examples of aggravated felonies include drug trafficking, many firearms offenses, forgery, rape, child pornography, and helping foreign nationals illegally enter the U.S. However, this list is far from exhaustive, and whether a crime should be considered an aggravated felony often requires a complex legal analysis.
If you are not able to obtain withholding of removal, you should be aware that you have not necessarily exhausted your options to stay in the U.S. You still may be eligible for Convention Against Torture relief, which is a possibility that you should explore with a knowledgeable attorney.
In order to apply for withholding of removal, you will need to submit a completed and signed Form I-589 as well as a copy of the form, supplementary sheets, supplementary statements, and two copies of additional supporting documents. Supporting documents should include evidence related to your fear of persecution. If you were persecuted before, it is usually easier to prove that you are likely to be persecuted again. You should try to include detailed information about why you are fearful, including past persecution, in your application.
Hiring an immigration attorney is critical during this process because immigration judges have heard many stories of potential persecution, and you want to be sure that the judge who hears your case is persuaded that you have a legitimate fear. You will need to show not just that it is possible that your life or freedom will be in danger, but that it is likely that you will be placed in danger by being removed to your home country. An attorney can also help soften negative information in your file that the government may stress as a reason to deport you, such as information about a crime that you committed.Consult a Deportation Defense Lawyer in Milwaukee, Chicago, or Elsewhere in the Midwest
The Chicago and Milwaukee deportation defense attorneys at Nicolet Lawyers can help foreign nationals who meet basic eligibility requirements with pursuing withholding of removal. Our team travels all over the U.S. to represent people facing deportation and interview foreign nationals in detention centers. We are dedicated to maintaining a high level of skill and diligence at every stage of removal proceedings. We not only file applications but also can obtain declarations, affidavits, country reports, and other important documents. Contact us online or call us at 773-562-6884 or 773-562-6884 to discuss your situation.