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Immigration Court Hearings

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may file a Notice to Appear with the Immigration Court.  This will begin the process of deportation/removal hearings. You have the option to conduct your hearing in person, by video conference, or, in certain circumstances, by telephone conference.  Immigration Judges may proceed with the heather whether or not the foreign national is present, therefore it is extremely important for all parties to attend and ensure a positive outcome. In order to approve a deportation, the DHS must present evidence that the person’s entry to the United States was illegal.

Following a deportation hearing, the foreign national is placed in removal.  This is a much more formal process.

There are two types of court dates in Immigration Court: Master Calendar and Individual Hearings. A Master Calendar date will come first. Here the Immigration Judge will deal with administrative issues, including scheduling, filing applications, pleading to the immigration charges, and other issues that arise.

Other topics included at a Master Calendar date are:

  • Advising the foreign national of the right to an attorney or other representative at no expense to the government
  • Advising the foreign national 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 foreign national of the right to present evidence, and advise him or her 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 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 foreign national of the consequences of failing to appear at subsequent hearings
  • Advising the foreign national of the right to appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals

 

At the master calendar hearing the individual should be prepared to:

  • Concede or deny service of the Notice to Appear
  • Request or deny service of the Notice to Appear
  • Request or waive a formal reading of the Notice to Appear
  • Request or waive an explanation and factual allegations in 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
  • Request a date on which to file the application(s) for relief, if any, with the Immigration Court
  • Request an interpreter for the alien and witnesses, if needed

Individual Calendar Hearings

In immigration court, individual calendar hearings address evidence and merits regarding contested matters. An individual hearing may be scheduled at the master calendar hearing. Contested matters include challenges to removability/deportability and applications for relief. The foreign national may also present evidence and testimony on his or her behalf and object to the government’s evidence. After the opposing cases have been presented, the Immigration Judge will either enter an oral ruling at the conclusion of the hearing or issue a decision at a later date.

Why do I need an attorney?

At the Federal Practice Group, our team is committed to defending foreign nationals at an Immigration Court. Whatever your specific needs are, our attorneys are happy to answer your questions and help you receive a positive outcome. Contact the Federal Practice Group today to schedule a consultation.