Toll Free: (866) 722-4030

Local: (206) 452-4883
Se Habla Español
Soreff Law - Seattle Immigration Lawyers

We represent both individuals and corporations and have extensive experience in all aspects of immigration law.

schedule consultation current clients Español

Deportation / Removal Proceedings

As with many areas of immigration law, deportation is a complex area of immigration law. Click below for more information on the various courts in our immigration legal system, as well as various forms of relief that a noncitizen can request if he or she is in deportation proceedings.

  • Immigration Court
  • In Washington State, there are two immigration courts. One Court is located in Seattle, Washington at 1000 Second Avenue, Suite 2500. The other Court is located at the Northwest Detention Center (NWDC) in Tacoma, Washington.

    To begin removal proceedings against an individual, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) submits to the Immigration Court a “Notice to Appear” (NTA). The Immigration Court will then schedule the individual for a hearing with the immigration judge.

    In Immigration Court, an individual does have the right to have an attorney represent him or her, although he or she does not have the right to a free, court-appointed attorney.

  • Northwest Detention Center (NWDC)
    • If an individual has been detained at the Northwest Detention Center (NWDC) in Tacoma, Washington, he or she will want to contact an attorney as soon as possible. At the NWDC, the government will either place the detainees in removal proceedings before a judge, or the government may “reinstate” an individual’s prior deportation order if the individual has previously been deported from the U.S. and then reentered the U.S. illegally.

      • Bond proceedings

        After arrest, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) may set a bond for the individual. ICE may also refuse to set a bond. If ICE does set a bond and it is too high for the person to pay, or if ICE refuses to set a bond and the person wants a bond to be set, he or she may request a bond hearing with an Immigration Judge at the Northwest Detention Center (NWDC).

      • Removal proceedings in the Northwest Detention Center (NWDC)

        If an individual is in removal/deportation proceedings at the detention center, he or she has the opportunity to request the same types of relief as an individual fighting his or her case outside of the detention center. The difference, of course, is that the individual must remain at the NWDC during his or her proceedings (unless he or she is able to bond-out).

  • Reinstatement of removal
  • This process is started when there is an old removal/deportation order on file for the individual in Immigration custody. The individual may not know that she or he has a removal order (he or she may have been caught at the border during a previous entry attempt and signed paperwork unknowingly agreeing to a deportation order). This situation would allow ICE to reinstate the prior removal order (i.e. to deport the person from the U.S. quickly and without letting them see a judge). Reinstatement of removal is difficult to stop, and usually happens very quickly, so it is incredibly important that the individual obtain legal advice as soon as possible.
  • “Relief” From Deportation
    • Even though a foreign national may be deportable front the United States, they may be eligible for some form of “relief” from deportation. Some of the most common forms of “relief” from deportation (which are discussed below) are: Cancellation of Removal, Asylum/Withholding of Removal/Convention Against Torture, and waivers for fraud or past criminal convictions.

      • Cancellation of Removal

        Cancellation of Removal is one of the more common ways to fight deportation.

      • Non-Permanent Resident Cancellation of Removal

        Individuals who are not lawful permanent residents (not green card holders) may be able to remain in the U.S. and obtain a green card if they can prove that they have resided in the U.S. for 10 or more years, have not been convicted of certain crimes, are a person of good moral character, and can prove that their deportation would cause an “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” on their U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse, child, and/or parent.

        This application is discretionary. This means that the Judge will take into account all of the information in front of him or her and decide whether the individual deserves this type of relief.

      • Permanent Resident Cancellation of Removal

        Individuals who have green cards (permanent residence) may be able to remain in the U.S. and keep their green card if they can prove that: (1) he or she has not been convicted of an aggravated felony (a unique term to immigration law); (2) he or she has resided in the U.S. for 7 years after having been admitted to the U.S.; and, (3) he or she has been a permanent resident for at least 5 years.

        This application is discretionary. This means that the Judge will take into account all of the information in front of him or her and decide whether the individual deserves this type of relief.

      • Asylum/Withholding of Removal/Convention Against Torture

        Affirmative Asylum Applications (with the Asylum Office)
        An individual who is not in deportation proceedings can “affirmatively” apply for asylum with the Citizenship and Immigration Service’s (CIS) Asylum Office. To be granted asylum, the individual must prove that he or she is a “refugee”, i.e. that he or she was persecuted in the past and/or has a well-founded fear of persecution in the future on account of his or her race, nationality, religion, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group (e.g. LGBT individuals, members of opposition political organizations, abused spouses, persons subjected to female genital mutilation (circumcision), etc.). The individual must prove that the persecution was/will be committed by the government (or its agents) of his/her home country, or by people who the government cannot or will not control.

        Defensive Asylum Applications (first raised in deportation proceedings)
        An individual who is in deportation proceedings may apply for asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the Convention Against Torture (CAT) to the Immigration Judge. The requirements for asylum in deportation proceedings are the same as affirmative asylum applications – i.e. that the individual meets the definition of a “refugee” (see “Affirmative Applications” above).

        Whether before an Immigration Judge or with the DHS, asylum applications are often very difficult cases. The applicant will want to hire a lawyer familiar with immigration asylum law.

  • Fraud/misrepresentation and Criminal Issues
  • Fraud/misrepresentation
    If an individual has committed fraud or misrepresented himself or herself, the individual may be forgiven for the prior fraud or misrepresentation. This is accomplished by submitting an application for a “waiver ” to either the Court or CIS.

    Criminal convictions
    If an individual has been convicted of a crime, the individual may still be allowed to remain in the U.S. by submitting an application for a “waiver” for the criminal conviction to either the Immigration Court or CIS.

  • Board of Immigration Appeals
  • If the Immigration Judge orders an individual deported, he or she may appeal the Judge’s decision to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). The government (DHS) may also appeal the judge’s decision. An individual has 30 days after the date of the Judge’s decision to appeal.

    Where the BIA has made a decision in an individual’s case, he or she may submit motions to reopen or reconsider with the BIA or may appeal to the Federal Circuit Court.

  • Federal Circuit Court petitions
  • If the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) denies an individual’s appeal or motion, he or she may appeal their decision to the federal circuit court which has jurisdiction over his or her state (in Washington, it is the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals) by submitting a “Petition for Review”.

Contact Form

Call Today: (206) 452-4883

American Immigration Lawyers Association

This Attorney is Lead Counsel Rated. Click here for more Information.

Review Us

Site Map

Contact Us

Soreff Law

705 2nd Ave, Suite 1601
Seattle, WA 98104

Toll Free: (866) 722-4030
Local: (206) 452-4883
Fax: (206) 382-7074

Se Habla Español

Location Map