After many years of defending clients in removal defense cases, I have found three principles that will generally be crucial to help someone win a deportation case. Those principles include that Respondents show the following: Responsibility; Remorse; and Rehabilitation.
First, let me address the principle of Responsibility. This principle calls for Respondents to admit their errors. Respondents must confess their wrongdoings before the Immigration Court. Although admitting an offense appears to be easy, I have found that it is difficult for Respondents to openly admit their offenses before the judge and their family. Accordingly, an immigration lawyer should question the Respondent about all offenses and ensure that the Respondent takes full responsibility for his or her offenses.
Second, Respondents must show Response. This principle allows the Respondent an opportunity to show regret for the offenses committed. If Respondents are authentic about their remorse, the Immigration Judge will value this response in their favor. The principle allows the Respondent to establish an emotional connection with the Immigration Judge and the Government Attorney. In my opinion, it is essential to connect with these two decision makers.
Lastly, Respondents must establish Rehabilitation. This principle can be met through past rehabilitation or through potential future rehabilitation. If Respondent has thorough evidence of past rehabilitation, then it is important to present this evidence to the court. The immigration judge will heavily weigh this type of evidence. For example, if the Respondent can show that a long time has transpired without any offenses and that the Respondent has completed counseling or treatment, then this evident should most definitely be presented. Alternatively, if the Respondent does not have evidence of past rehabilitation, then the Respondent must show potential for future rehabilitation. This is difficult to establish, especially if the Respondent is detained. Therefore, it will be incumbent on the Respondent’s immigration lawyer to coordinate a rehabilitation plan in the event the Immigration Judge grants and releases the Respondent.
Respondents and their immigration lawyers should keep these principles in mind as they prepare their defense strategies in any complex deportation defense case.
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