What is Immigration Litigation?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 24 September 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
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Immigration litigation is litigation related to immigration matters. In some cases, it may be heard in a courtroom, while in other instances, the threat of litigation may be enough to settle an immigration matter out of court. Numerous lawyers specializing in immigration litigation can be found, especially in border areas where immigration issues tend to be more common. For people experiencing problems within the immigration system, working with an expert lawyer can be highly beneficial. Organizations which provide advocacy for immigrants, legal and otherwise, often have lists of lawyers they work with or recommend which they can provide to people who need legal services.

Some litigators work on behalf of the government when it wishes to try people for illegal activities related to immigration. This can include overstaying visas, not filing for the proper visas, or crossing a border illegally. The goal of such cases may be deportation. Sometimes immigration litigation also become entangled with other legal matters; for example, if someone with questionable immigration status commits a crime, his or her immigration status often becomes a point of contention in the case.


For people who are in a country illegally, litigation can sometimes be used to resolve the issue without having to leave. Immigration litigation can help someone get an extension to file paperwork, or can be used in situations such as applications for protection under refugee laws. An immigration lawyer can also help someone who is trying to prevent the breakup of a family, or provide assistance for people at immediate risk of deportation who are concerned about their welfare if they return home, but who do not qualify for refugee status.

Immigration litigation usually centers around whether or not someone should be allowed to remain in a country. These cases can become very contentious, especially in nations where immigration in general is an issue which generates conflict. As a result, immigration litigators must consider social pressures in addition to legal ones when working on cases. They may also work on cases which attain a high profile as a result of media attention, which can become problematic.

Immigration lawyers can also be beneficial before something illegal has happened. They can assist with visa and residency applications and related immigration matters. The immigration system is often extremely complex and convoluted, and it can help to have someone who is familiar with it to help. Using a lawyer can also significantly speed the process of handling immigration matters.



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