What To Do When You Lose An Immigration Case

December 04, 2015

The Immigration System of the United States of America is a complicated one. In fact, a lot of season practitioners compare the complexity of the Immigration code with that of the Tax code, and that is saying a lot. Some individuals find themselves in removal proceedings after they have been trying to go through the maze that our immigration system is. When this happens, you have to appear in immigration court. One has the option of representing oneself or hiring an immigration attorney. But what happens when you lose your case?

A lot of times you are already a Legal Permanent Resident and because of a criminal conviction or a number of criminal convictions an individual finds himself in removal proceedings. These proceedings can be complicated.  Again, one has the option of representing itself or hiring an immigration attorney. Again, what happens when you lose your case?

The first thing to do is not to panic. When you lose your case in immigration court, you have the option to appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals or you have the option to accept the decision and depart the United States of America. You may request to take Voluntary Departure if that is an option made available to you by the immigration judge. You can take voluntary departure and still appeal your case. Lastly, when you depart from the United States of America, you may re-enter, but you will have to submit some kind of a waiver.  Most individuals decide to appeal their case to the Board of Immigration Appeals.  The Board of Immigration Appeals is the appellate body designed to review the decisions of the immigration court and the Department of Homeland Security.

The Board of Immigration Appeals will review the decisions made by the immigration judge. When filing an appeal, it must be filed within 30 days  of the Immigration Judge’s decision.  It is imperative to appeal the case in a timely manner or it will be dismissed for that reason.

Appeals to the Board of Immigration Appeals are based on legal arguments that may demonstrate why the immigration judge should have decided differently.  In some cases new evidence can be considered on appeal. This is why deciding on the proper strategy to appeal a case is so important. Many times I have come with appeal strategies that were totally wrong. One should always consult with two or three immigration attorneys seeking their advice and strategy.  With that advice then an individual can make the informed decision on which path to take.