Immigration laws and immigration reform are currently in the forefront of discussions in the United States Congress. Forensic psychologists hired by an immigration attorney can serve as an “Expert Witness” in cancellation of deportation cases. The psychologist’s role in conducting evaluations in an immigration cancellation of deportation case is to determine the degree of hardship and to provide expert testimony. Specifically, the forensic psychologist is often asked to evaluate the hardship that would ensue if the person is deported. This determination involves several issues, such as: cultural and language differences; psychological stressors in the deportation hearing process and distress from the potential relocation to another country. Moreover, typical cases extend beyond the direct hardship to the individual seeking cancellation of deportation to include impact on their spouse and/or children. Mental health professionals in this line of work must be informed about political trends and current immigration cancellation and deportation laws to best consult, assess, report and provide expert witness testimony at the Federal Court hearing. This course discusses the psychologist's role as an expert witness in immigration cases. A review of the psychological criteria for cancellation of deportation cases, along with legal format and related issues, is provided. Particular attention is paid to the psychological assessment of “exceptional hardship” in immigration cases involving appeal for cancellation of deportation. Ethical and forensic guidelines for the psychologist’s relationship with attorney and the court are discussed including the psychologist’s assessment process and the format for making recommendations to the Court.
This online course is approved for APA CE credit, NBCC CE clock hours, ASWB Clinical CE clock hours, and NYSED CE credit.
After completing this course, health professionals will be able to:
- Identify psychological criteria for cancellation of deportation cases, including 6 common hardship factors that are considered to determine the impact of deportation.
- Discuss the psychologist’s role as an expert witness in immigration cases, including the 8 court mandated qualifications of the expert witness and contractual agreements with attorneys.
- Describe 6 guiding principles in the psychologist’s expert evaluation process in cases for cancellation of deportation cases, select 3 standardized measures for adults and 6 child assessment measures for use in this forensic setting, and recognize 2 key components when preparing the evaluative report for the Court.