Texas Immigrants May Seek To Cancel Deportation Proceedings By Filing For U Visa Relief
This is the next post in my series discussing how Austin immigrants may stay in the U.S. by applying for a U visa. My last post discussed how the family members of a U immigrant may apply for permanent status. In this article I will be discussing how one currently facing deportation proceedings may seek cancellation of that removal action by filing for a U visa. Given the large overlap between immigration law and criminal law, I feel this is an important topic to discuss.
I have previously written, at length, on how one may apply to cancel removal proceedings by essentially requesting a green card from the immigration judge. It is important to understand that seeking a U visa while in immigration court requires a different approach. One can still stop their deportation, but through a different process. Only USCIS has the power to grant a U visa. The judge does not have this power. But an applicant can ask the judge for additional time so that immigration can process their case. Sometimes a judge will temporarily close a deportation case while someone waits for a decision on their U visa. If the U visa is granted, then the applicant can seek to have their deportation case terminated and the charges dismissed.
A perfect example of how Austin residents can use a U visa to stop deportation proceedings is in matters involving domestic violence. Say an undocumented spouse finds herself the victim of violence on the part of her husband. By agreeing to testify against the abusive husband the victim can make herself eligible for U visa relief. As explained in my prior articles, she would have to cooperate with law enforcement and would have to meet the other requirements for a U visa. If these requirements are met then the deportation process may be stopped.
Another example of how victims may utilize the U visa process is when they are the subjects of human trafficking. It goes without saying that one who traffics human beings will be aggressively prosecuted by law enforcement. Such cases, however, can be difficult to prove if those subjected to the crime do not participate. Such victims will also likely be facing deportation proceedings. It may be requested that such proceedings be stopped when the U visa is applied for. Victims of human trafficking may also seek a T visa, which is a more common approach.
While life can be very difficult for a victim of crime, especially one who is undocumented, the law does not turn a blind eye to such situations. Laws such as the one creating U visas were passed specifically to help people in situations such as the ones described above. If you are the victim of abuse and are facing deportation proceedings then you do not need to feel as if the situation is hopeless. It is possible to simultaneously stop the deportation process and ensure that your oppressor is brought to justice by agreeing to cooperate with the government and applying for U visa relief.
Our Austin office assists people throughout Travis County. If you have been the victim of a crime, and are afraid of being deported, then contact us today to speak with an attorney.