You Get One Chance
Many otherwise upstanding immigrants in the United States find themselves in removal proceedings, often for trivial reasons. Perhaps they committed a low level misdemeanor, left the country at a time that would jeopardized their status or accidentally filled out an application for residence incorrectly.
If you find yourself in removal hearings, you must understand that in almost all cases you will have ONE CHANCE (excluding appeals) to demonstrate why you should not be removed. After that you will have to find legal reasons for the DHS to make an exception in your case, a long and drawn out process. Faced with the specter of deportation, many simply give up, but there are a number of strategies for fighting it.
It is fortunately that there are factors working in your favor. For instance, at any given time there are more than a quarter of a million removal cases on docket, and the government must prove the reasons you should be deported. Even if they can do so, you will still be eligible to apply for many of the forms of relief of removal, including but not limited to cancellation of removal and adjustment of status. Another factor in your favor is the fact that the shift during the Obama administration has been to focus on high priority removals (drug crimes, for instance), and demoting “regular” deportations. If you have not committed a crime, your chances of keeping of getting residence are better than even a few years ago.
But to fully explore all your opportunities, you must speak with an attorney as early in the removal proceedings as possible.