When an undocumented immigrant is arrested for being in the country illegally, it is seemingly inevitable that they will face deportation. In some cases, this doesn’t happen. But most of the time, an illegal immigrant will be put before a judge who will determine his or her domestic fate.
Many people may not know, though, that isn’t where the story ends. It is a common misconception that illegal immigrants who are to be deported do not have any options once a ruling is made. In fact, there are numerous ways to appeal or contest such a decision.
An undocumented immigrant can plead their case to the Board of Immigration Appeals Office within 30 days of any ruling regarding their status. An illegal immigrant can also seek asylum, a deportation waiver or cancellation of their removal from the country. There are also situations (which occur far too often) where the undocumented person is wrongfully treated, wrongfully deported or discriminated against in some way that can lead to a reversal of their deportation.
One man in New York will certainly be seeking some of these options after a bizarre arrest that just feels “wrong,” even though, legally, it might be “right.”
The 31-year-old man, originally from Albania, starred in a short film called “Dreaming American,” which detailed his escape from his home country and how he established himself in the U.S. As he went to a festival that was showing his film, police arrested him for his illegal status. They are now considering deporting him back to Albania, where, given his now-public defection (the story spread over Facebook), he could face persecution, personal harm or even death if he is sent back.
Source: CBS Connecticut, “Illegal Immigrant Arrested On Way To Festival To See Immigration Film He’s In,” Oct. 9, 2012
- Removal defense can be a complicated area of law; but with appropriate legal counsel, your appeal could be successful. To learn more, please visit our Los Angeles removal defense page.