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If you’ve been notified that deportation proceedings have been initiated against you, then you’re probably nervous about your future. That’s understandable given the implications of removal, which could send you back to a country you don’t know or to a location that places you in danger. And if the government seeks to remove you from the country, then the onus is on you to aggressively fight back to protect yourself.

But how can you fight back against deportation proceedings? It won’t be easy, and it’ll take a lot of work, but depending on the facts of your case, you might have several options that you can utilize.

The specific approach that you take in your deportation case is going to depend on the facts of your case. That said, here are some options that you should consider implementing if you can:

  • Seek asylum: If you were persecuted in or likely will be persecuted upon return to your country of origin, and such persecution is based on protected grounds, such as race, religion, or political opinions, then you can seek asylum protection. Successfully seeking asylum means that you’ll be allowed to remain within the United States. It also puts you on track to acquire work authorization, a green card, and eventually citizenship. It’s important to note, though, that asylum must be sought within one year of your entry into the country.
  • Request cancellation of removal: Under some circumstances, you can essentially ask the government to reconsider its decision to deport you. Here, you must be present in the United States, possess good moral character, and have a criminal record that’s clear of certain disqualifying offenses. If you’re a non-lawful resident, then you might also have to demonstrate how your removal will create an extreme hardship for your spouse, children, or parents. There are other requirements that may have to be met depending on your circumstances.
  • Seek a U visa: If you were the victim of a crime in the United States and you’re helping law enforcement or prosecutors investigate or prosecute the offense in question, then you may be able to obtain a U visa, which would protect you from deportation. To qualify for this type of visa, you generally must also demonstrate that you’ve been the victim of physical or mental abuse. If you’re successful in acquiring this visa, then you might be able to protect your family, too.
  • Seek a T visa: This type of visa is granted to victims of human trafficking who would experience extreme hardship if removed from the United States. Just like with a U visa, a T visa could lead to a green card.
  • Demonstrate procedural errors: From a legal perspective, removal proceedings are very formal. If the government made a mistake in providing you notice or committed some other type of procedural error, then you might be able to delay the process. While this won’t take deportation out of the picture, it could buy you time to formulate stronger arguments and develop a plan B.

Find the legal strategy that works best for you

There are other strategies you can implement to try to defeat deportation, but you have to know about them so that you can choose the path that’s right for you. With that in mind, try not to be daunted by the complexities of the system. Instead, use your fear of the process as motivation to seek out the information and guidance you need to properly advocate for yourself and your future in the United States. Hopefully then you can achieve a favorable outcome that puts you on the road to the future that you want.