Deportation proceedings can be stressful so it’s a good idea to be well informed and seek the best legal advice.
Being arrested by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or placed in removal proceedings by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) can be intimidating for you and your family members. Removal proceedings determine whether an immigrant will be removed or deported from the United States. There are several types of reliefs that may be available to you, if you are placed in removal proceedings.
Before the alien is placed in deportation proceedings, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) must serve the alien with a charging document, called a Notice to Appear (NTA). The alien in removal/deportation proceedings is called the “respondent”. NTA orders the respondent to appear before an immigration judge and provides notice of the removal proceedings, the alleged immigration law violations, the ability to seek available free legal attorneys, and the consequences of failing to appear at scheduled hearings.
DHS must file the NTA with an immigration court having jurisdiction over the respondent’s location. There are currently 29 immigration courts located in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Washington. Each immigration court handles cases for its geographical area, which sometimes encompasses several states.
When the immigration court receives the NTA from DHS, the court schedules a master hearing with an immigration judge. Typically, there are two hearings: a master hearing and an individual hearing. But there may be more than one hearing, depending on your situation.
Typically, an alien arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will be placed in removal proceedings. Depending on the circumstances, the detained alien may be released on bond before the hearing. The alien must be duly notified that he or she must attend a removal hearing in the immigration court having jurisdiction over their area. There are two types of immigration hearings: a master calendar hearing and individual hearing.
This article will explain how the removal or deportation proceedings work and answer some of the basic questions about what happens at a master calendar hearing. We encourage you to talk to an experienced lawyer directly about your specific case in order to avoid any potential problems or complications.