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Can You File a Motion to Reopen Removal Proceedings?

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Can You Have a Deportation Case Reopened?

If an immigration court or the Board of Immigration Appeals has ruled that you must be deported, you may qualify to file a Motion to Reopen your case with the assistance of a Chicago immigration attorney, but you must get in touch with an attorney as quickly as possible.

In fiscal year 2023, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents made more than 170,000 administrative arrests and deported more than 142,000 individuals from the United States to over 170 nations. If your removal has been ordered, you must have an attorney’s help at once.

What is a Motion to Reopen?

A Motion to Reopen allows a person who has lost a removal case to (1) demonstrate that they never received notice of their court date; (2) presents the circumstances why they missed a court date; (3) present new evidence or changes in the facts of the case to an immigration court or the Board of Immigration Appeals. You are asking to have your case opened, again, with the goal of seeking a visa or canceling your deportation order.

A Motion to Reopen is a formal court document, written by your attorney – which explains why your removal proceeding should be reopened or why your case should be reconsidered. A Motion to Reopen must indicate the new facts that your lawyer intends to prove if your Motion is granted. Sometimes, a separate copy must be properly filed with the opposing agency, known as ICE.

Under what conditions will a removal proceeding be reopened? What does it take to persuade an immigration court or the Board of Immigration Appeals to cancel your deportation order? And what steps will a Chicago immigration lawyer take on your behalf?

For What Reasons Will a Removal Case Be Reopened?

To have your removal case reopened, your attorney must demonstrate that new information that directly affects your right to stay in the U.S. was not available when your deportation was originally ordered by the Immigration Court.

If you depart from the U.S. before an immigration court or the Board of Immigration Appeals rules on your Motion to Reopen, the Motion can be considered withdrawn.

Usually, the immigration court or the Board of Immigration Appeals will approve a Motion to Reopen your deportation case only for one or more of the following reasons:

  1.  You did not appear at the original hearing only because the immigration court or the Board of Immigration Appeals failed to notify you or your immigration lawyer about the hearing. Failing to appear results in a removal order “in absentia” (“in your absence”).
  2.  The situation in your nation of origin has changed, and you will now be in imminent danger if you are forced to return there.
  3.  You have new evidence or your situation has changed. For example, if your removal was based on a criminal conviction, and a criminal court vacates that conviction, the Board of Immigration Appeals or an immigration court can consider a Motion to Reopen.
  4.  You were eligible for an immigration status that was not explained to you. For example, you may be qualified for asylum or withholding status, but you were not asked about your fear of returning to your nation of origin.
  5.  Because the circumstances of your life have changed, you are now eligible to remain in the United States. For example, you may now qualify for a green card based on employment.
  6.  Ineffective assistance of counsel: Your first immigration lawyer made a legal or factual mistake that harmed your case.

Is There a Deadline for Filing a Motion to Reopen?

In most cases, your immigration attorney must submit a Motion to Reopen within ninety days of the date that your removal order was issued, but the deadline may be extended or waived in specific situations. For example, this Motion to Reopen deadline may be extended or waived if:

  1. Changes in your nation of origin make it dangerous for you to return at this time.
  2. You or your immigration attorney were not informed about your removal hearing.
  3. The reason you failed to appear at your removal hearing was not your fault.
  4. Your deportation order was issued prior to September 30, 1996.
  5. Your attorney can persuade the government attorney to agree to a Motion to Reopen.
  6. Your attorney can convince the Immigration court or Board of Appeals as a matter of discretion.

Are You an Abuse Victim?

If you are the child, parent, or spouse of a U.S. permanent resident or a U.S. citizen, and if you have been battered or abused, your deadline for filing a Motion to Reopen may be extended to one year from the date of your deportation order.

Moreover, your deadline may be waived entirely if your Chicago immigration attorney can demonstrate extreme hardship to your child or some other extraordinary circumstance that warrants waiving the deadline and considering your Motion to Reopen.

Can You Be Deported While Your Motion to Reopen is Pending?

In most cases, merely filing a Motion to Reopen ‘will not’ by itself prevent you from being deported unless you did not receive notice of the court date. If you believe that you may be deported while your Motion to Reopen is pending, because there is no automatic stay, then your Chicago immigration lawyer may file a separate Motion to Stay Removal with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency or the Federal Court.

If you, or a family member, are detained, but removal is being scheduled, your attorney may file the motion or an Emergency Motion to Stay Removal. In your Motion or Emergency Motion, your attorney must explain why you need an emergency stay of removal and how quickly you need it.

Let Attorney Kevin L. Dixler Handle Your Motion to Reopen

Immigration attorney Kevin L. Dixler and his team at the Law Office of Kevin L. Dixler offer practical legal advice and services to their clients in the Chicago and Milwaukee areas – and around the globe – who are seeking green cards, visas, or citizenship in the United States.

If your removal from the United States has been ordered, attorney Kevin L. Dixler can file a Motion to Reopen and represent you.

Our legal team offers practical solutions to the immigration challenges you may face. If your deportation is imminent or if you are struggling with another immigration-related legal matter, call the Law Office of Kevin L. Dixler at once – from anywhere in the world – at 312-728-4610.

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