This is a question that many immigrants find themselves asking at some point in their journey to U.S. citizenship. I applied for a green card and they told me I have an order of removal, or I was arrested and immigration detained me and said I have an order of deportation. These are scenarios that happen on a regular basis. The way our immigration system works, many non-citizens who are living their lives in the U.S. have orders of removal and either don’t even know it, or are able to live their lives, but have the fear that their next appointment with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will be the time they are detained and deported.
When someone has a final order of removal there can be many reasons for it. You may have gone through removal proceedings, fought your case and lost, appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals and lost and now you have a final order. You may have not even known that you were in removal proceedings and were ordered removed when you did not show up for a court date that you didn’t even know you had. Or you may have gone to court many times and for one reason or another, you had car trouble, you were in jail or you were scared, you did not show up for your final hearing and you were ordered deported. All of these are ways that people end up with orders of removal or deportation.
How you received your order of removal is a key factor in determining if an attorney can help you reopen your case and overturn that order of removal. If you fought your case all the way through and lost at every step, your chances of reopening your case and getting your green card back or having a chance at getting a green card a slim. However, that does not mean it is impossible.