Law Offices of George Giosmas

25 years of experience

Understanding removal proceedings

If you do not have legal immigration status in the United States, you may be at risk of receiving a Notice to Appear in the mail. When issued this notice, a series of events begins that could lead to your removal from the country. This can be a scary time for families as your hopes and plans are at stake. You may benefit from working with a deportation attorney to navigate and defend your proceeding.

When an undocumented immigrant is arrested for a violation by local police, the officer can share arrest information with ICE. At U.S. borders and airports, border patrol agents make the arrests and turn you over to ICE. Realizing that the Department of Homeland Security is attempting to remove you from the country is an unthinkable reality and it is important to know the steps that may follow your notice.

First hearing

There are several hearings that may occur during your deportation case. The first hearing, the “master calendar hearing,” is crucial to defend your stay in the country. The judge will typically ask you or your lawyer your name, address, whether you want an attorney present for proceedings and if you understand the language or need a translator.

The master hearing could be the only hearing you receive in some cases. In these cases, there may be enough facts admitted that allow the court to find removal appropriate.

Individual hearing

This hearing refers to the trial that takes place during a deportation case. The Department of Homeland Security must prove by “clear, convincing, and unequivocal evidence” that you are removable from the country. Like at any trial, you as the “defendant” must make an opening statement and make a convincing case that removal is not the appropriate option.

Order of removal

If you are not detained, the judge working on your case may make the decision on the day of the merits hearing or send the decision by mail. You may stay with your family until the judge sends the written decision in the mail.

It is important to note that you can appeal the decision. Appealing can be a long process and, if detained, you may remain as so during the months of the appeal. There is hope for you in these cases and an immigration attorney may help secure a fair decision.

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