What To Expect In Deportation Court
What Should I Expect In Deportation Court? This is a question we hear frequently at The International Law Offices of Gabriel Jose Carrera.
If you in the country illegally, you can expect at some point to be arrested, detained and served with a Notice to Appear (NTA) (before an Immigration Judge in Deportation Court). The NTA should included a date, time and place at which you must present yourself before an Immigration Judge or risk deportation in absentia. In addition, you will see the Immigration charges that have been leveled justifying removal from the U.S. This tutorial briefly describes the Immigration Court process from service of the NTA to the end of trial.
The Notice to Appear (NTA)
Immigration proceedings are always commenced by the issuance of an NTA.
Usually U.S. Immigration, Customs & Enforcement (ICE) issues the NTA, but sometimes they are issued by USCIS personnel at ports of entry and INS officials in connection with the denial of asylum or refugee status.
The USCIS serves the NTA upon the alien, ordering the alien to appear for an immigration hearing, to hear the alien's arguments and the Government's side. This is the last chance using "Due Process" before the Immigration Judge to present your case to stay in the U.S.
The NTA advises the alien of the nature of the proceedings, the alleged immigration law violations, the privilege of being represented by an attorney, and the consequences of failing to appear at the hearing.
Immigration Court Process
Removal (deportation) proceedings start with the government's filing with the Immigration Court of a Notice to Appear.
Removal/deportation proceedings are usually conducted in person; however, in certain circumstances they may be conduct by video conference or by telephone. This is especially true if you or your loved one is detained temporarily in Glades County Jail, located in Moore haven, Florida.
The alien must attend any hearing dates set by the immigration court or risk that the Immigration Judge will conduct the hearing without the alien present (i.e. in absentia).
The United States must prove that the alien is in the United States unlawfully and that the law requires his or her removal from U.S. borders.
At the hearing, the alien may present evidence and proffer the testimony of any witnesses that support his or her defense against removal. Here is the last chance to stay and The International Law Office of Gabriel Jose Carrera, P.A. DOES NOT recommend that you go to Court without an attorney.
Language interpreters will be made available at the government's cost if necessary for the alien to fully understand and participate in the proceedings.
Master Calendar Hearing (MASH)
The first hearing during removal proceedings will be the master calendar hearing or MASH. This hearing date may be stated in the Notice to Appear served on the alien or may be sent to the alien in a separate Notice of Hearing.
The MASH must be set at least ten days after service of the Notice of Intent was served on the alien, unless waived by the alien, so that the alien has adequate time to find an attorney and prepare his or her defenses.
At the master calendar hearing the Court will handle preliminary matters such as:
- advising the alien of the right to an attorney or other representative at no expense to the government
- advising the alien of the availability of free and low-cost legal service providers and provide the respondent with a list of such providers in the area where the hearing is being conducted
- advising the alien of the right to present evidence, and advise the alien of the right to examine and object to evidence and to cross-examine any witnesses presented by the Department of Homeland Security
- explaining the charges and factual allegations contained in the Notice to Appear to the alien in non-technical language
- taking pleadings
- identifying and narrowing the factual and legal issues
- setting deadlines for filing applications for relief, briefs, motions, prehearing statements, exhibits, witness lists, and other documents
- providing warnings related to background and security investigations
- scheduling hearings to adjudicate contested matters and applications for relief
- advising the alien of the consequences of failing to appear at subsequent hearings
- advising the alien of the right to appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals
At the master calendar hearing the alien and his or her attorney should be prepared to:
- concede or deny service of the Notice to Appear
- request or waive a formal reading of the Notice to Appear
- request or waive an explanation of the respondent's rights and obligations in removal proceedings
- admit or deny the charges and factual allegations in the Notice to Appear
- designate or decline to designate a country of removal
- state what applications(s) for relief from removal, if any, the respondent intends to file
- identify and narrow the legal and factual issues
- estimate (in hours) the amount of time needed to present the case at the individual calendar hearing
- to request a date on which to file the application(s) for relief, if any, with the Immigration Court
- to request an interpreter for the alien and witnesses, if needed
The Individual Hearing or Trial on the Merits
Evidentiary hearings on contested matters are referred to as individual calendar hearings or merits hearings which may be scheduled at the first hearing.
Contested matters include challenges to removability/deportability and applications for relief.
At individual hearings the alien is allowed to introduce evidence and call witnesses to support any claim for relief he or she may have. If the alien qualifies for relief then an application or waiver should have been filed during a Master calendar "call up" and filed with the fees prior to the Individual hearing (trial).
The alien also is given the opportunity to challenge the government's evidence and cross-examine the government's witnesses.
After the alien and the government have presented their cases, the Immigration Judge will either enter an oral ruling at the conclusion of the hearing or issue a decision at a later date.
You Must Have Counsel if You Expect to Win in Immigration Court
Immigration Court proceedings are complex and can be extremely difficult to win even if an alien is properly represented by counsel. In law school the professors always stated that the two most difficult areas of law are a) Tax law, b) and Immigration law since the case law precedent or interpretations of regulations change month to month.
Immigration Court Cases are almost impossible to win if the alien is attempting to represent him or herself.
If you get an NTA immediately contact an immigration lawyer who regularly handles deportation cases. If you wait to the last minute you may be doing yourself irrepairable harm thus don't wait, call us today at 954-533-7593!
CLICK TO PRINT THIS DEPORTATION COURT GUIDE →
Detention Center List in South Florida
If you know of
someone who has been detained or has had an immigration hold placed on
them you should first contact Attorney Gabriel Jose Carrera at
954-618-0122 or 954-533-7593. In most cases the Attorney can
visit the detainee within 24 hours after the initial detention!
Should you need to contact the detention center to verify whether they hold a
certain detainee, we have supplied you with the following addresses and
One Riverview Square
333 S. Miami Ave., Suite 700
Miami, FL 33130
Glades County Jail
599 Ave J. SW
Moore Haven, Fl 33471
Broward Transitional Center
3900 Powerline Road
Pompano Beach, Florida 33073
Krome North Processing Center
18201 SW 12th St.,
Building #1, Suite C
Miami, FL 33194
Krome Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 940998
Miami, FL 33194
Orlando Immigration Court|
80 North Hughey Avenue
Orlando, FL 32801
Miami ICE Field Office
Area of Responsibility:
Florida, Puerto Rico,
U.S. Virgin Islands
At: Krome SPC
18201 SW 12th St
Miami, FL 33194
Phone: (305) 207-2001