Written by attorney Carl Michael Shusterman

How to Win Your Case in Immigration Court

How to win your case in Immigration Court explained by former INS Attorney Carl Shusterman.

You should be represented by an experienced immigration attorney in Immigration Court. You may contest your removability and/or apply for relief from removal.

Our immigration attorneys have successfully defended thousands of clients in Immigration Court, before the Board of Immigration Appeals and in Federal Courts across the United States for the past 30+ years. We have obtained the following benefits for our clients: adjustment of status, asylum, withholding of removal, the Convention Against Torture (CAT), various types of waivers, cancellation of removal, VAWA, US citizenship and more.

The immigration court system is the entity in which immigration judges conduct removal proceedings and adjudicate asylum claims for immigrants, among other responsibilities.It is operated by the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), under the power of the Attorney General. EOIR is comprised of 58 courts throughout the U.S. and the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), an appellate body. The immigration courts are civil courts. Article III federal courts which have jurisdiction over cases concerning criminal offenses, including instances when federal prosecutors seek criminal charges for immigration offenses, such as illegal entry or reentry, are not considered part of the immigration court system.

Immigrants, even those who are undocumented, possess basic rights under the U.S. Constitution. Specifically, the 14th Amendment guarantees due process and equal protection to all “persons” in the United States, not just citizens. In immigration court, this means immigrants have a right for their cases to be presented and heard. Because the immigration court system is civil rather than criminal, immigrants have the right to retain counsel, but are not provided a lawyer free of charge if they can’t afford one. In 2016, the American Immigration Council found that only 37 percent of immigrants secured legal representation in their deportation proceedings.

Due process is often compromised in exchange in the service of speed. While many immigrants are able to get in front of an immigration judge to plead their cases, a growing number are deported under expedited removal procedures.

See some of our Success Stories at

See our Adjustment of Status page at

To see if you qualify for Asylum, Withholding of Removal and/or the Convention Against Torture (CAT), see

For information about Cancellation of Removal, see


For Immigration Consequences of Criminal Convictions, see

To see whether you qualify for a Waiver of a Criminal Conviction, see

To see how to qualify for a Fraud Waiver, see (213) 623-4592 x0 Former INS Attorney Carl Shusterman (1976-82) describes how you can win your case in Immigration Court. Schedule a legal consultation (by Skype, telephone or in person) at

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