If at the end of your merits hearing at your appointed immigration court, the presiding judge deliberates and decides to issue you with a deportation order, your next step should be to appeal their decision. As the judge's decision isn't final and it is possible to submit an appeal, in order to try and get your immigration order overturned. As contrary to what many individuals believe, the judge who presides over your merits hearing does not have the last say when it comes to whether or not you'll be forcibly removed from the country or not. As boards such as the Board of Immigration Appeals and the Federal Circuit Board of Appeals, hold the power to reverse your deportation order. You can even appeal to the Supreme Court in order to avoid being deported.
Steps To File An Appeal
Immediately Submit A Motion To Reconsider
Your first action should be to consider whether it's in your best interest to submit a Motion To Reconsider through the immigration court which processed your hearing. It's crucial to remember that in order to request a Motion To Reconsider you must do so within 30 days of the date of your merits hearing. Failure to submit your application within the allocated 30 day time period, will mean that you will no longer be able
Escalate The Situation By Appealing To The Board Of Immigration Appeals
Even if you submit a Motion To Reconsider which is then dismissed, you don't have to accept your fate without a fight and you can choose to lodge an appeal directly with the Board of Immigration Appeals. If you haven't heard of the Board of Immigration Appeals, they have the authority to review all of the lower immigration court verdicts.
In order to be eligible to appeal to the BIA, you'll need to prove that the judge misinterpreted the information which was presented in your hearing and came to an incorrect verdict. For example, perhaps the judge did not take into account recent law changes and as a result, came to an incorrect conclusion. Or perhaps the judge who was in charge of your hearing misunderstood critical evidence which your immigration attorney presented during your primary hearing or merits hearing. In both of these cases, it's well worth fighting your deportation notice by appealing to the BIA.
Just as you have 30 days from the date of your merits hearing to submit a Motion To Reconsider, you also have a strict 30 day period in which you can legally appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals. In order to try and overturn your deportation order so that you'll be able to continue living and working in the United States.
The best time to make your appeal is at the end of your merits hearing. As if you make your intentions to pursue an appeal through the BIA straight away, your deportation will be delayed until there has been a final resolution. So you won't have to worry about being removed from the United States before the BIA has had a chance to process your deportation appeal. If in doubt, it's always a wise idea to appeal a deportation order as even if you lose, you'll be able to push out your deportation date.
Once The Board Of Immigration Appeals Reaches A Decision
If the Board of Immigration Appeals rules in your favor, your deportation order will be overruled and you'll be able to continue living in the United States. However, if the BIA decides to uphold the judge's verdict, you'll be presented with a new deportation date. In this event you'll have two choices, you can escalate the scenario once more, by appealing to the Federal Circuit Board of Appeals or you can choose to comply with your deportation order. Just keep in mind that legally an Attorney General or a federal court can overrule the decision which is made by the Board of Immigration Appeals.
Appealing To The Federal Circuit Board Of Appeals
If you decide to appeal the decision which has been made on your immigration case by the BIA, your next step is to appeal to the Federal Circuit Board of Appeals. This board is comprised of 13 separate federal courts, each of which can process appeals for different regions in the United States. For example, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit will be able to receive your appeal if your immigration hearing took place in either Maine, Masschessuetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, or Puerto Rico. As another example, if your hearing took place in New York, Connecticut or Vermont, you'll be able to appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
If Your Appeal Is Rejected By The Federal Circuit Board Of Appeals
If your appeal is once again rejected, you'll have one final option, if you still have your heart set on living and working in the United States. You'll be able to lodge an appeal with the Supreme Court. However, in order to pursue this option, you should have legal representation from an experienced immigration attorney as each year most of the immigration appeals which are sent to the Supreme Court are promptly rejected. Also keep in mind that if both the Federal Circuit Board of Appeals and Board of Immigration Appeals decided to uphold your deportation order, it is unlikely that the supreme court will rule in your favor. Also, keep in mind that the cost of appealing to the Supreme Court is high.
If you want to give yourself the best possible chance of remaining in the United States, it's important to hire a talented immigration attorney who has a wealth of experience to offer and to appeal your deportation order. Even if it requires escalating your situation and making appeals to the Board of Immigration Appeals and the Federal Circuit Board of Appeals. As contrary to popular belief immigration judges don't have the final say when it comes to whether or not you're forcibly deported from the United States.