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Can I be Deported if My Minor Child is a U.S. Citizen?

Many immigrants in the United States are shocked to learn that they can be deported even if they have a minor child who is a U.S. citizen or who has a green card. This fact - that US immigration authorities would deport a person whose dependent child has the right to remain indefinitely in the United States as an American citizen or lawful permanent resident - is often cited by immigration lawyers who are experts in deportation matters as one of the crueler US immigration policies. In the same way that US law will separate fiances or even married couples through deportation, United States immigration law also seems to many immigration attorneys to have little regard for keeping even a parent and their minor child together in the U.S. In cases where this happens the immigration appeal process is usually of little help - the law in this regard tends to be strict and unrelenting. Persons facing deportation should contact an experienced immigration attorney for help. N matter where you are located, a deportation lawyer at the law firm Heartland Immigration will gladly speak with you about your immigration situation; please give us a call: 1-855-USA-IMMIGRATE

Does the fact that a person in deportation proceedings has minor American citizen children matter at all?

In general, the fact that an individual faced with the prospect of deportation by the US immigration authorities has family members, including US citizen children, doesn't come into play. It can, however, be a consideration for the immigration judge under certain circumstances, namely when the person facing possible deportation is eligible to seek relief from deportation. Not everyone can seek one of the several enumerated forms of relief from deportation - you should talk to an experienced immigration lawyer to see whether this could apply in your case.

A common example of a person being eligible for relief from deportation where their relationships with American citizens, as well as with lawful permanent residents (i.e., green card holders), comes in to play is in the cancellation of removal setting. To benefit from cancellation of removal a person must meet several conditions, one of which for non-green card holders is that their deportation would cause exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to their child, parent or spouse who is either a U.S. citizen or a green card holder. It is very difficult to demonstrate to an immigration judge that "exceptional and extremely unusual hardship" would ensue for a qualifying relative in the event that the individual were to be deported. As any good immigration lawyer will tell you, it's a high standard to meet indeed. It definitely has to go beyond the normal hardships that typically result from deportation - there have to be special and compelling circumstances at issue in order for an immigration judge to grant cancellation of removal to a person whom the government is trying to deport.

The court of appeals for immigration deportation cases, called the Board of Immigration Appeals, has given some guidance in terms of what must be shown to meet this high standard of exceptional and extremely unusual hardship, but it's still anything but an exact science. The Board of Immigration Appeals and immigration judges have said that having an elderly and ill parent who is a US citizen whom the person facing deportation takes care of, for example, goes toward meeting this standard. Additionally, having a sick American citizen or green card holding child or one who needs special help in school have also been found to help a person avoid deportation through cancellation of removal. Another factor that the Board of Immigration Appeals has said can play into the mix is the conditions the qualifying relative (the US citizen or green card holding child, parent or spouse) would face in the country to which the person in immigration court would be deported, if they were to go with them (as would likely be the case for a US citizen child whose single mother is being deported) - things like a lower standard of living and less access to medical care could conceivably help a person procure cancellation of removal by helping them to show exceptional and extremely unusual hardship would result for a qualifying relative if the person is deported.

In a well-publicized case the mother of two children who are US citizens was denied cancellation of removal and deported to Mexico. The immigration court said that the children would not suffer exceptional and extremely unusual hardship in Mexico despite that there were fewer educational opportunities for the children there and despite that the mother was a single mom and had no family in Mexico who could help her with the children. In another case, however, a woman from Mexico who was also a single mother was granted cancellation of removal and spared deportation on the basis of the hardship it would cause for her US citizen children. Factors that weighed in her favor, and which distinguish her matter from the case discussed above in which cancellation of removal was not granted, included that she had six children, and that they didn't speak Spanish.

As you can see, the immigration authorities will in some deportation cases consider the effect of deportation of a parent on a US citizen or green card holding child, but this isn't always enough to save the parent from deportation. We encourage you to talk to an experienced immigration lawyer for immigration advice if you are facing possible deportation. One of Heartland Immigration's Dallas immigration lawyers will be glad to give you a an immigration lawyer free consultation to discuss your matter. Send us an e-mail or call us toll-free: 1-855-USA-IMMIGRATE

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