We have handled 100’s of cases, representing clients in removal, deportation, and exclusion proceedings across the United States including in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Texas. The type of relief from removal for which you are eligible will vary from case to case, but rest assured that we are experienced in handling adjustment of status (green cards), asylum, bonds, cancellation of removal, special immigrant juvenile status (SIJS), temporary protected status (TPS), U-visas, NACARA, and waiver cases.
Below is a description of how deportation/removal proceedings are initiated and what you can expect when you go to court.
Commencement of Deportation/Removal Proceedings
Removal proceedings, known as deportation proceedings, begin when a “Notice to Appear” (NTA) is filed with the Immigration Court having jurisdiction over your case-that is the immigration court closest to your last known address.
You or your attorney must be served with a copy of this NTA which states the immigration charges being brought against you. The charges alleged against you will depend on whether you entered illegally, have been admitted on a green card, or are an arriving alien. Even if a ground of inadmissibility or deportability wasn’t charged on your NTA, this does not mean that DHS cannot raise it as a reason for denying any relief you may seek in court.
At the initial master calendar hearing, you may appear without a lawyer and the immigration judge will typically ask you if you want additional time to hire an attorney. At your second court hearing, it is important to be represented by an attorney. DHS has the burden of proving the charges on your NTA by clear and convincing evidence, so it is important to have an attorney defend you and deny any charges that are inaccurate or that DHS cannot prove. Your attorney will also present applications for relief to prevent you from being deported from the country.
Because of the backlog of immigration cases, and the relatively small number of immigration judges on the bench to decide these cases, removal proceedings can take several years to conclude. It is important to get an attorney at the outset of your case for several reasons. Even if your final hearing is set for a couple of years from now, it can take time to obtain the evidence you need in support of your application for relief, especially if you are requesting it from a foreign country. Plus, if you hire an attorney from the outset of your case, you don’t risk waiving some of your defenses, like making DHS meet their burden of proof on the charges against you, or suppressing evidence that was obtained in violation of your due process rights. Finally, when applying for certain forms of relief, such as asylum, cancellation of removal and NACARA, you will be eligible for a work permit while your case is pending. The sooner you apply for relief, the sooner you can obtain work authorization in such cases.
Call or e-mail us today to schedule a consultation with a knowledgeable immigration attorney to find out how we can help you fight to keep your family together and build your dreams in the United States.