How to write a letter requesting non-deportation of a person

Being deported -- removed from one country and returned to your country of birth -- is a serious offence that could have lasting repercussions. The entry card to some countries has the question, "Have you ever been deported?" If you answer, "Yes," you may not be allowed to cross the border. In America, a deportation order is issued by a judge. The process begins with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. The appeal process at this level is where your letter requesting that a person not be deported is valuable. It serves as a character reference for why the person should be allowed to stay in the country.

Use the block format for your letter. All text starts on the left hand side of the page with no indents, and you leave a blank line between paragraphs. Use letterhead, if possible. Otherwise, types your address, telephone number and e-mail address in the top left-hand corner. Leave a blank line and type the date.

Include the inside address, which is the same as it will appear on the envelope. Type "United States Citizenship and Immigration Services" and the postal address. Include one blank line below the inside address, then write this salutation: "To the Presiding Judge:" Add one more blank line below the salutation before the body of your letter.

Introduce yourself. A simple "My name is Heather Jones" will do. This is a formal letter, so adopt a businesslike tone.

Go straight to the point. "I am writing to support James Duncan's appeal to remain in the United States."

Establish your credibility and why you are able to speak on behalf of the person. "I am a doctor in Fargo, and I have known Ms. Humphrey for ten years." When writing a letter to the court, it is essential to show that you, too, are of good character.

Provide anecdotes that support your reasons for arguing that the person should not be deported. Use positive descriptors such as "honest," "family oriented" and "of good character," and then offer solid examples of how the person demonstrates these traits. Paint a picture of why the person is someone who should be allowed to remain in the country.

End your letter with a blank line before the closing. Type "Sincerely" or "Respectfully" followed by a comma. Leave three or four blank lines for your signature, and then type your name.

Leave your letter for a day or so and then edit it for grammar and spelling mistakes. Read your letter aloud to yourself and assess it for tone; edit accordingly. Once finished, sign the letter and mail it.

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