Can I appeal this horrible decision?
Question: I lost at the immigration Court level. Can I appeal?
Answer: Yes, you can appeal. You can appeal it to the Board of Immigration Appeals in Virginia.
Question: When do I appeal and what happens if I don’t appeal on time?
Answer: You must appeal to the BIA within the 30 days after the decision by the Immigration Judge. That means that the Notice of Appeal must be physically at the Board of Immigration Appeals by the deadline. If it is 5 minutes late, it will be rejected and returned. Your appeal will be over and you will likely have a deportation order and be physically deported from the United States. Clearly, it would be in your interest to make sure the Notice of Appeal is timely filed.
Question: What happens if I just found out about doing the appeal and it is due tomorrow and I can’t even have time to send it to Virginia on time?
Answer: There is actually a company in Virginia that you can send the Notice of Appeal up until 10:00 a.m the day that it is due. They will then physically go to the Board of Immigration Appeals and file the Notice of Appeal. It is not cheap, but it saves the appeal at the last minute. It is well worth the price if you are in that unfortunate situation.
Question: Do I have to do the Opening Brief when I send in the Notice of Appeal?
Answer: No. You will get a notice from the BIA as to when it is due. You will have considerable time to have it properly prepared and to develop your arguments and to make your case. Once the Opening Brief is submitted, you will then receive the reply brief from the Government. They will argue as to why the appeal should be denied and why the Government made the correct decision. Afterwards, you will have about 14 days to submit the reasons you believe the reply brief is incorrect and what points need to be made. Afterwards, the BIA will make a decision on your case.
Question: Should I have an attorney help me?
Answer: It would most definitely be in your best interest. Appeals are won and lost on the legal points that are made. They are not won by simply rehashing the facts. If you want any real chance of winning, you should not only hire an attorney, but one that specialized in Immigration Laws, has years of experience doing appeals and knows the immigration laws backwards and forwards.