X You may need to Reload the page to make it work correctly.
Health Forum Online    The Psychologist's Source for C.E. Credits Online

The Psychologist’s Role as Expert Witness in Immigration Cases

by Kathleen Holland, PsyD 2 CE Credits


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.


Continuing education for this online course is offered through the following approvals:


  • HealthForum is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. HealthForum maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
  • HealthForum has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6216.  Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. HealthForum is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.
  • HealthForumOnline, LLC, SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0355
  • Social Workers in other states and allied health professionals should consult their state licensing board to see which of these approval bodies are accepted toward licensure renewal in their state. Click here for more information and direct links to state boards.


Course Sections/Outline:

  • The Process for the Cancellation of Deportation Due to Hardship: A Brief Overview 
  • Psychologist as Expert Witness in this Domain: Qualifications and Contractual Agreement
  • Useful Resources in the Determination of Hardship 
  • The Forensic Psychological Evaluation: The Initial Process
  • Assessment Measures and Batteries Used in this Context
  • The Forensic Psychological Report and Summary
  • Expert Witness Testimony
  • Other Clinical Considerations
  • References

Learning Objectives:

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. 
Course Price: $50.00