San Diego


1901 First Avenue, 2nd Floor
San Diego, CA 92101

Los Angeles


355 South Grand Avenue, #2450
Los Angeles, CA 90071

Deportation Defense and Removal Defense


Scales of Justice, LLP provides aggressive and experienced representation to individuals who are placed in deportation and removal proceedings in immigration court.  Our goal is to ensure that the best possible strategies, requests for relief and defenses to deportation and removal are found for each individual.  We are committed to working together with our clients to discover what possibilities there may be in each case and how we can achieve a favorable outcome.


The attorneys at Scales of Justice, LLP are able to represent and assist individuals in any city and state in the United States.  Some defenses to deportation and removal include:




If you are already in the United States or one of its territories and you are afraid of returning to your home country, you may qualify for Asylum.  Asylum is granted to aliens who can prove that they are afraid to return to their home country because they have a “well-founded fear of persecution.”  This fear is based on past persecution or persecution that may take place in the future.  You must fear that you will be persecuted based on one of the following grounds: Political opinion, Religion, Membership in a particular social group, Race, National origin, or Gender.




Immigration Judges have the authority to grant Withholding or Removal to aliens who do not qualify for asylum.  The burden of proof is on the applicant to show that his life or freedom would be threatened on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion should he or she be forced to return home.  The applicant must prove that it is “more likely than not” that he/she would be persecuted on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.




The CAT provides relief from removal for individuals who fear they will be tortured if forced to return to their home country.  This torture must be inflicted by, at the instigation of, or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity.  The type of relief is important for individuals who do not qualify for Asylum or Withholding of Removal.




A lawful permanent resident (LPR) of the United States who is placed in removal proceedings may be eligible for Cancellation of Removal if he/she meets certain requirements: (1) has been lawfully admitted as a permanent residence for at least five years; (2) has resided in the United States continuously for seven years after having been admitted in any status; (3) has not been convicted of an aggravated felony;




A non-lawful permanent resident (non-LPR) can qualify for Cancellation of Removal if he/she meets certain requirements.  Some of these include (1) has been physically present in the United States for a continuous period of at least 10 years preceding the date of the application for cancellation of removal; (2) has been a person of good moral character during the ten-year period; (3) has not been convicted of any crime(s) that can render him or her inadmissible or deportable; (4) establishes that removal (deportation) would result in exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to his or her spouse, parent, or child who is a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States.




This is a separate Cancellation for battered men, women and children, available to abused spouses or children of citizens or aliens with permanent resident status, as well as to the parents of abused children of a citizen or person with permanent resident status. The abuse must be documented.  Relief may be granted where there are three years of continuous physical presence (no stop time rule required) and a showing of extreme hardship to the alien, parent, or child, irrespective of her status.




Depending on the case, sometimes an Application for Adjustment of Status, or readjusting status is necessary to remove the case from immigration court.  This is usually only done where adjusting would remove the grounds for removal (deportation).




Registry creates a record of lawful admission for permanent residence for noncitizens who: (1) entered the United States before 1972; (2) who have resided in the United States continuously since then; (3) who do not have a record of entry; (4) who have good moral character; (5) who are not ineligible for citizenship; (6) who have not violated certain inadmissibility grounds.




Voluntary departure is a limited form of relief that reduces the amount of time for which an alien is barred from returning.  It may be offered by the government either at the beginning of removal proceedings or at the conclusion of proceedings.  To qualify, the noncitizen must show that: (1) he/she has one year of physical presence before the Notice to Appear was issued; (2) good moral character for five years; (3) no Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude or security threats; (4) that the noncitizen has the financial ability to depart; (5)clear and convincing evidence that the noncitizen intends to depart.




Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a designation made for nationalities of certain countries affected by war or disaster.  TPS allows these nationals to temporarily remain and work in the United States. TPS does not cure (fix) past status violations.  When TPS ends, a noncitizen may become deportable. Once a nationality has been designated, DHS issues instructions for applications, which are made to USCIS.  Requirements generally include that the noncitizen: (1) be a national of the designated country or not have a nationality but last habitually resided in the designated country; (2) have been continuously physically present in the United States since the designation; (3) have resided continuously in the United States; (4) be admissible as an immigrant (though some inadmissibility grounds may not apply); (5) not have been convicted of an aggravated felony or certain crimes; (6) register for TPS within the designated timeframe.




Deferred action is an agreement by DHS to defer deportation.  Though deferred action usually involves a single individual, it has been applied to entire nationalities, similar to TPS, or classes of people. Requests are usually made to Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) where decisions are made by a Field Officer who considers factors such as: (1) the likelihood of the noncitizen being actually deported; (2) the likelihood of bad publicity if the noncitizen is actually deported; (3) the need for the noncitizen’s presence for ongoing investigations into criminal cases; (4) whether the noncitizen is a member of a class of people whose removal has been given high priority.  A request can be made at any time and it granted, does not grant any immigration status.


Individuals referred to as The Dreamers or who fall under the yet, unapproved, Dream Act, would fall under this category.




Waivers may be used to overcome inadmissibility and deportability in removal proceedings.  Inadmissibility grounds may arise in several ways during a removal proceeding.  Usually an individual is being placed in removal proceedings based on an inadmissibility ground under INA §212(a) or based on the deportability found under INA §237(a)(1)(A).



Contact us right now via phone or email to see how we can help you.


Ask Us a Question

  1. (required)
  2. (valid email required)
  3. NOTE: The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form. By clicking “Send” below I acknowledge, understand and agree to the following: I may receive a response to my inquiry from an attorney; I am not forming an attorney-client relationship with Scales of Justice, LLP (SoJ) and understand this law firm does not represent my legal interests; Scales of Justice, has no duty to keep confidential the information I am now sending to the law firm; and I may only retain this firm or any of its attorneys as my attorney by entering into a written fee agreement and I am not hereby entering into a fee agreement.

cforms contact form by delicious:days

Connect With Us

Scales of Justice, LLP on Twitter Scales of Justice, LLP on Facebook
AILA Member 2011
 Scales of Justice LLP BBB Business Review

Immigration Law (in California)
All the services relating to immigration and naturalization provided by the firm or corporation shall be provided by an active member of the State Bar or by a person under the supervision of an active member of the State Bar. Pablo Zamora is licensed to practice law in the District of Columbia. Pablo Zamora is not an attorney licensed to practice law in California but is an attorney licensed in another state or territory of the United States and is authorized by federal law to represent persons before the Immigration Courts, Board of Immigration Appeals or the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

*In compliance with CRPC 1-400, this website acts as an advertisement for Scales of Justice, LLP. Scales of Justice, LLP is the title of the law offices of Rebecca Ritchey, Esq. and Pablo Zamora, Esq. This website is a public resource of general information concerning Scales of Justice, LLP. It is intended, but not promised or guaranteed, to be correct, complete and up-to-date. Links on this website are not intended to be referrals to or endorsements of the linked entities. The attorneys at Scales of Justice, LLP are licensed to practice law in California and Washington D.C. Scales of Justice, LLP does not intend to represent anyone desiring representation in a state where this website fails to comply with all laws and ethical rules of that state.*

Safeguard Privacy Policy
Scales of Justice, LLP strives to protect any data collected against mishandling and fraud, collect personal information only as needed, and respect the preferences of customers regarding the use of their information. As an accredited business we agree to:

Respect Privacy. Any and all information supplied to us through this website is confidential. This information is not shared with any other individual, organization or entity. It is strictly used for responding back to questions submitted to us by individuals who contact us through the Scales of Justice, LLP Contact Us page.

Secure Sensitive Data. We do not collect sensitive data through this Contact Us page portion of our website (such as credit card, bank account numbers, social security numbers, medical history or records, etc.). Should any of that information be sent to us through the Scales of Justice, LLP website, we will ensure that it is transmitted via secure means and make efforts to comply with industry standards for the protection and proper disposal of all sensitive data, both online and offline.