What are Removal Proceedings?
Removal proceedings are the process which the government uses to remove an individual from the United States. These proceedings are usually initiated by the issuance of a Notice to Appear. However, mere issuance of the Notice to Appear is not enough, and the government has to file the Notice with the immigration court with jurisdiction over the individual, for proceedings to commence. The jurisdiction is determined by where a person subject to removal resides. For example, an immigrant in the Tampa Bay area would be placed in removal proceedings in the Orlando Immigration Court. For a list of immigration courts in the United States, visit this link.
What is included in the Notice to Appear?
The Notice to Appear is the equivalent of an information in criminal proceedings. It usually includes several factual allegations regarding the individual which set the predicate of removal and the charges that necessitate removal.
What are the Possible Removal Grounds?
There are two things that an individual in removal proceedings might be charged with: deportability under INA Section 237 or inadmissibility under INA Section 212. The scope of charges ranges from being unlawfully present in the United States to committing genocide. There are also several criminal grounds of removal, which include theft and drug charges. A competent immigration attorney should study these charges carefully and determine whether the government has sufficient facts to support its allegations. Attorney Ahmad Yakzan has a successful track record of fighting on behalf individuals facing removal proceedings. Call us today for a consultation.
For a list of deportation, grounds visit this link.
What Type of Hearings Would I have in Immigration Court?
Immigration hearings are classified into two types: Master and Individual. During a Master hearing, you appear in court along with many people who are in removal proceedings. These hearings are usually status hearings between you, the judge, and the government attorney. The judge also takes pleadings and accepts applications for relief in these hearings.
An Individual hearing, on the other hand, is akin to the trial in a criminal case. During these hearings, the judge determines whether you are eligible for relief, whether the charges should stand, and usually enters a final decision at the end of these hearings. You will be allowed to take testimony from witnesses, cross-examine government witnesses and plead your case. If you do not speak English, the government usually provides you with a translator to help you with your case.
What should I do if I am subject to a Removal Order?
If the decision was entered recently, there are several options. At the end of the individual hearing, you usually get 30 days to appeal the immigration judge’s decision to the Board of Immigration Appeals, in Falls Church, Virginia. The Board is made up of seasoned Board members who decide these cases. Some of their decisions are published and guide all immigration courts in the country.
If the decision was entered more than 30 days ago, you must file a Motion to Reopen with the immigration court or the Board of Immigration Appeals, depending on the place that last controlled the case. These motions are very complicated and usually require new evidence or a change in the law to be considered. If your motion is decided by the immigration judge, your case will be reopened and the prior decision would be vacated. If the order was entered by the Board of Immigration Appeals, then the case will be remanded to the immigration court with jurisdiction over your place of residence.
What should I do if I am facing Removal Proceedings?
The first thing to do is to call an immigration attorney and fight any urge to fight it alone. The government hires very competent attorneys whose sole job is to remove you from the United States. If you cannot afford an attorney, you should research organizations in your area that offer free support. You should get a list of such organizations when you are served with a Notice to Appear. Please call us today for the best representation in removal proceedings.
A notice to appear is not the end, it could be a great start when you hire a competent attorney to represent you in immigration court. Call us today to discuss your case.