New Orleans Immigration Removal Lawyers
Tough representation for New Orleans and Slidell foreigners facing deportation
Removal proceedings are gut-wrenching. If you win, you can stay in the United States. If you lose, you’ll have to leave the country that has been your home, maybe for years or decades. Unlike criminal cases, defendants in removal proceedings do not have the right to a lawyer. They can and should, if they can afford to, hire a skilled New Orleans immigration lawyer because the Department of Homeland Security will have a lawyer on their side.
At the Law Office of James A. Graham, our New Orleans immigration lawyers provide aggressive, experienced guidance for individuals facing removal. We represent people in all phases of their immigration process. We’ll explain how the removal proceedings work and make every argument possible on your behalf. Call us in New Orleans or Slidell as soon as you learn you or a loved one is being requested to leave the United States.
How can we help?
- Why would the government start removal proceedings?
- How do removal proceedings start in New Orleans?
- How do we contest removal proceedings in New Orleans?
- Am I eligible for cancellation of removal?
- Can the person in removal proceedings request a waiver?
- Can I seek an Adjustment of Status to avoid deportation?
- What is “voluntary departure”?
- Do you have an immigration lawyer near me?
Why would the government start removal proceedings?
Removal, or deportation, is often associated with criminal activity and arrests. While these are common reasons for removal, the US Department of Homeland Security may also initiate removal proceedings for:
- Taking public assistance while on a green card
- Entering the US without an inspection
- Not updating address changes
- Dishonest marriages to enter the US
- Illegal voting
- Misrepresentations to obtain a visa
- Overstaying a visa
- Working without the correct visa
- Other legal wrongs
How do removal proceedings start in New Orleans?
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) can begin removal proceedings. They will send you a “Notice to Appear” which lists their reasons for why they believe you are here illegally, or that you should be removed from the country. After you receive this notice, you will be contacted by an immigration court, usually within four weeks.
Then, the waiting game begins. You will be scheduled for an initial hearing (called a “master calendar hearing”) that could take place in a few months, or up to one year form the date you received your notice.
After this initial hearing, you will have one more individual hearing to attend. This is the hearing that determines the merit of your claim. We can represent you at both hearings.
If the immigration Judge decides that you can be deported, our attorneys can then help you apply for relief from removal.
About New Orleans Immigration Court
New Orleans Immigration Court is located at One Canal Place, 365 Canal Street, Suite 500. They are open from 8:00am to 4:30pm, Monday through Friday. As of right now, the staff includes:
- Megan R. Jackler, Assistant Chief Immigration Judge
- Kevin P. Guillory
- Joseph LaRocca
- Charlotte Marquez
- Eric Marsteller
- Troy Ledbetter (Acting)
How do we contest removal proceedings in New Orleans?
At the Law Office of James A. Graham, we assert every viable defense possible including:
- Arguing that the government’s charges are false
- Arguing that any offenses you committed don’t warrant your removal
- Arguing that your life may at risk if you return to your home country by filing for asylum
- Requesting a waiver
- Requesting that your case be reconsidered, reopened, or remanded
- Showing that you are a citizen
- Filing an application to overturn the removal because of your good moral character
- Pursuing a green card
- Other defenses depending on the basis for the removal
Am I eligible for cancellation of removal?
Both non-immigrants and lawful permanent residents can petition for the cancellation of removal. If granted, this means you will be allowed to remain in Louisiana.
If you are a not a lawful permanent resident, you may be eligible if:
- You’ve been physically present in US for 10 years or more
- You’ve been of “good moral character” for 10 years or more
- There are no criminal convictions that would disqualify you
- You have a spouse, parent, or child under the age of 21 who is a US citizen or a lawful permanent resident, and that person would suffer “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” if the person is deported
- If you are a lawful permanent resident, you may be eligible if: You’ve been an LPR for five years or more
- You’ve continuously resided in the US for seven years or more
- You haven’t been convicted of an aggravated felony
- You haven’t been granted removal cancellation or other relevant relief before
- The Judge agrees your request to cancel the removal has merit
Can the person in removal proceedings request a waiver?
Some removal proceedings are filed because the person was “inadmissible” when he/she entered the US. A waiver may be granted to eligible people. Generally, the person must demonstrate hardship to close family members (such as a spouse, child, or parent) if the removal occurred.
Some people may be eligible if they committed fraud, a crime, or other wrongs if the removal would cause an extreme hardship for a spouse, parent, or child who is a US citizen or a lawful permanent resident.
Some waivers require that the person the government is seeking to remove have a family relationship with a US citizen or LPR. Other waivers don’t require a family relationship. Our New Orleans immigration removal lawyers will explain when you can request an inadmissibility waiver and the requirements for the waiver. There are many different categories of waivers.
Can I seek an Adjustment of Status to avoid deportation?
A foreigner who is in removal proceedings may be able to seek an adjustment of his/her immigration status to become a lawful permanent resident – and thus possibly avoid being deported. Generally, the foreigner must be a spouse, child, parent, or widow of a US citizen to apply for an adjustment of status through Form I-485. We’ll explain when and how you can file for an adjustment of status, and whether you might qualify for an adjustment of status.
What is “voluntary departure”?
If we have exhausted all possibilities and you are facing removal, you may wish to consider voluntary departure instead of a forced departure. Aside from being a more comfortable way to leave, a voluntary departure may make it easier to return if the underlying violations or problems are addressed from abroad. Eligibility for a voluntary departure requires that the grounds for the removal aren’t “aggravated, the foreigner can pay for his/her departure, the person leaves within the period set by the immigration Judge, and the foreigner can demonstrate good moral character during the prior five years.”
If the immigration Judge orders your removal (or the removal of a loved one), we can file a Petition for Review with the Board of Immigration Appeals, or potentially the US Court of Appeals. We will not stop fighting to keep you here with your family.
Do you have an immigration lawyer near me?
The Law Office of James A. Graham has two office locations in South Louisiana:
For clients who are unable to travel, we can schedule phone or video conferences when needed.
Contact our experienced New Orleans removal proceeding lawyers today
At the Law Office of James A. Graham, we understand how life-changing removal proceedings are if the immigration Judge rules against you. Our New Orleans immigration lawyers are skilled at contesting removal proceedings and working to find grounds to stay in American such as cancelling removals. We’ll move quickly to assert every argument and every defense possible. Call us or fill out our contact form now to present a strong seasoned response to the removal proceedings. We represent people in in New Orleans, Slidell, and South Louisiana.