In the complex world of immigration law and labor compliance, it is crucial to have a clear understanding of the various relief options available to individuals facing deportation. As an experienced immigration and criminal defense attorney practicing in both New York and New Jersey, I have encountered numerous cases related to immigration enforcement actions within the construction industry. This essay aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the relief options available to individuals facing deportation in the context of the construction sector.

Understanding Key Legal Terms

Before delving into the relief options, it is essential to grasp some key legal terminology:


The Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO) is a significant administrative body that adjudicates cases related to immigration law violations and labor compliance issues in the United States.

I-9 Compliance

I-9 compliance refers to the requirement for employers to verify the identity and employment eligibility of their employees using Form I-9, issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).


E-Verify is an internet-based system used by employers to confirm the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States.

Relief Options for Deportation

Individuals facing deportation in the construction industry have several relief options, including:

  1. Cancellation of Removal (Non-LPR): This relief is available to individuals who have been physically present in the United States for at least 10 years and can demonstrate good moral character.
  2. Asylum and Withholding of Removal: Those who fear persecution in their home countries due to race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group may be eligible for asylum or withholding of removal.
  3. Adjustment of Status: Some individuals may be eligible to adjust their status to that of a lawful permanent resident if they have an immediate family member who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  4. Waivers of Inadmissibility: Certain grounds of inadmissibility can be waived under specific circumstances, such as for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens.
  5. U Visa: Victims of certain crimes who cooperate with law enforcement may be eligible for U visas, which grant temporary legal status and work authorization.

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: What is OCAHO, and what role does it play in immigration enforcement? A1: OCAHO is the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer, responsible for adjudicating immigration law violation cases and labor compliance matters.

Q2: How can I-9 compliance impact my immigration status as a construction worker? A2: Proper I-9 compliance is essential to avoid legal issues and ensure that your employment is authorized.

Q3: Can I apply for asylum if I fear persecution in my home country due to my involvement in the construction industry? A3: Asylum may be available if you fear persecution based on protected grounds, regardless of your occupation.

Q4: What is the U visa, and how can it help construction workers facing deportation? A4: The U visa is for crime victims who cooperate with law enforcement; it provides temporary legal status and work authorization.

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Navigating the intricacies of immigration and labor compliance within the construction industry can be challenging, but understanding the relief options available is crucial. With the right legal guidance and knowledge, individuals facing deportation in this sector can explore various avenues to secure their immigration status and continue contributing to the workforce.

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