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Non-citizens who are present in the United States may be subject to deportation from the United States. This is true even for individuals who are lawful permanent residents (green card holders).

This process can be stressful and difficult to understand. Although it is not easy to avoid being deported, there are several legal defenses that can be raised as well as immigration waivers that can be applied for. Deportation defense requires specialized knowledge of the law as well as the filing of immigration forms, supporting evidence, and legal briefs. Having an experienced deportation defense attorney on your side will drastically improve your chances as most unrepresented non-citizens end up being removed (deported) from the United States.


The timetable of a deportation case can be uncertain. Certain cases can take years before they are formally resolved. Other cases, especially those of detained non-citizens can be resolved fairly quickly. That is why it is important to retain a local, South Florida, deportation defense attorney as soon as possible since those facing deportation have a right to defend themselves.

If Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has advised you that you are going to be deported, here is an overview of the process and why it is imperative that you have an experienced deportation defense attorney on your side.



Deportation proceedings, formally known as removal proceedings, are hearings held before an immigration judge to determine whether a non-citizen can remain in the United States. As noted above, Removal proceedings are initiated when the government alleges that a non-citizen either lacks a valid immigration status or that a non-citizen has done something to end otherwise valid immigration status.


  • Removal proceedings formally commence when the government files a “Notice to Appear”, including the basis for removal, with the Immigration Court.

  • The government has the burden of proving the allegations and the basis for removal. If a non-citizen who receives the Notice to Appear fails to show up for a hearing, the Immigration Judge can order that individual removed, in absentia.

  • The first hearing in a removal proceeding is called a master calendar hearing. At that hearing, the non-citizen (known as the Respondent) must admit or deny the charges brought against him or her. The respondent also has an opportunity to identify any defenses to removal he or she may qualify for and will have to file any applicable applications for relief from removal. The failure to file an application can result in that defense or method of relief being waived.

  • The final hearing, known as the individual calendar hearing or merits hearing. At this hearing, the immigration judge will hear testimony and review evidence and legal arguments in order to make a decision on any motions or immigration petitions/applications that have ben filed in the case.

  • At the conclusion of the hearing, the judge will issue a decision on whether or not the government has proven its case and whether or not the non-citizen has met their burden for any forms of immigration relief that they have sought.


Note that a denial decision is not the end of the immigration case. A denial can be fought using Motions to Reconsider, Motions to Reopen, and even Federal appeals.


There is no one-size fits all strategy to defending a non-citizen faced with removal. Deportation defense requires a case-by-case approach, based on the unique circumstances of each case, to have the best chance of success. An experienced deportation defense attorney can argue on behalf of non-citizens facing removal and create the best possible deportation defense strategy.


Contact a Deportation Defense Attorney You Can Trust!


You do not have to face complex legal issues alone. We have the experience and knowledge to best present your case to an immigration judge, as well as the know-how to appeal an adverse ruling. Time is of the essence in a deportation defense case so call (305) 539-0991 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a free consultation with me. We are located in Miami Lakes, Florida and are available for consultations by phone, by zoom, or in person.

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What Our Clients Say

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Kayla G.

I have worked with Attorney Gomez on two separate cases and I can’t recommend him enough. He is always available by phone or email, takes his time to ensure I understand what is happening in my case, and goes above and beyond for his clients. I will definitely reach out to Attorney Gomez for my future legal needs and recommend him to anyone looking for an honest and trustworthy attorney.

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