MERRILL R. COHEN is one of New York's new breed of savvy immigration lawyers.    New York Law Journal    Magazine.

Super Lawyers Distinction 2016, 2015, 2014, and 2013 - Merrill Cohen

Removal Proceedings

Removal proceedings take place at the Executive Office for Immigration Review ('Immigration Court') in front of an Immigration Judge who will determine whether a foreign national - or in some cases, a lawful permanent resident-may be removed from the United States. In many cases, individuals in removal proceedings qualify for relief from removal.

When I.C.E. believes that a foreign national has overstayed a non-immigrant visa, entered without inspection ('EWI') or committed a crime that renders them Removal from the U.S., I.C.E. initiates removal proceedings against them by issuing a Notice to Appear ('NTA') that sets forth the charges. The alien then appears before an Immigration Judge at The Executive Office for Immigration Review. The alien is given an opportunity to either present evidence that the alien is not removable as charged or that they qualify for relief from removal.

Foreign nationals in removal proceedings can provide evidence that they are actually in lawful non-immigrant status, that they are eligible for adjustment of status to Lawful Permanent Resident, that they qualify for political asylum or cancellation of removal, or despite having committed a criminal offense, they are eligible for a waiver of removability due to countervailing considerations.

Since 1994, our office has represented individuals facing removal after one or more criminal convictions, as well as for other grounds, including asylum and unauthorized stay in the U.S. We provide our clients with zealous advocacy, arguing and securing relief from removal whenever possible. We have successfully secured relief from removal on the following grounds:

» We provide evidence that the alien is actually in valid non-immigrant status.

» We provide evidence that the alien has an approved immigrant petition (I-130 or I-140) and that he/she is eligible for adjustment of status to Lawful Permanent Resident.

» We provide evidence that the alien merits political asylum on one of the five enumerated grounds: race, religion, nationality, political opinion or social group.

» We provide evidence that the alien merits 'cancellation of removal' as he/she has been in the U.S. for at least 10 years prior to issuance of the Notice to Appear; is a person of good moral character; hasn't committed certain criminal offenses; and their removal would result in exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to their U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse, parent, or child; and they are deserving of a favorable exercise of discretion by the immigration judge.

» We have the client apply for a waiver of removability for the crime they committed, based on evidence of their rehabilitation, good moral character, harm that will be suffered by their immediate relatives if they were to be removed from the U.S. and other factors.