Receiving an order of deportation from U.S. immigration officials can be an emotionally overwhelming event if you are fighting to remain in the country. Fortunately, a deportation order does not necessarily mean your chances of staying are slim to none.
If you have legal grounds upon which to do so, you may appeal your deportation case. Keep in mind, an appeal is not considered a second chance to reconsider the decision of your case. You need to establish a rational basis upon which to argue the Immigration Judge (IJ) made a legal error, which means you are prohibited from submitting new evidence.
If the IJ came to an incorrect decision, overlooked or ignored important evidence, failed to hear testimony from one of your witnesses, or if an immigration court rule was used against you in an unfair manner, you may have legal grounds for an appeal. However, if you were placed in deportation proceedings due to committing a crime that results in deportation, and you are clearly guilty of the crime, you may not seek an appeal.
How to File an Appeal
You can appeal the judge’s decision to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). You will have 40 days from the date of the immigration judge’s deportation order to file a Notice of Appeal (Form EOIR-26) by mail or give a copy to the attorney who represented the U.S. government at your hearings.
There is a filing fee ($110 in 2016), which needs to be paid by check--made out to “United States Department of Justice.” Write your name and Alien Number (A-number) on the check.
Additionally, Form EOIR-26 also asks you whether you plan to file an additional written brief or statement. It is in your best interests to do so--with the help of an experienced lawyer. After receiving your Notice of Appeal, the BIA will send you a deadline for submitting your brief.
If the BIA is convinced by your arguments, it may overturn the judge’s decision and grant your relief request. If the BIA is unsure, it may send the case back to the IJ for additional hearings. If the BIA rejects your appeal, you can--under certain circumstances--continue on with your appeal to the U.S. federal court of appeals for your jurisdiction.
Immigration laws surrounding deportation is highly complex. For a more detailed, specific information regarding your unique case in Ventura County, CA, our Santa Barbara immigration attorneys at Appel & Morse are here to offer experienced legal help.