Throughout the United States and across the globe, people who call this country home—mothers and fathers of children who are US citizens, tax-paying employees, respected community members—are being arrested, locked up, and deported by an administration that scapegoats them as violent criminals. They are being pushed out of the communities they have worked so hard to build and into the countries where they have family and deep roots. The Trump administration’s deportation crackdown has ruined the lives of millions of families.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has ramped up its deportation efforts since the president’s election, targeting unauthorized immigrants as well as people with deep family ties to the country, and even legal residents with old or minor criminal convictions. The Trump administration claims it is focusing only on violent criminals, but many families are being separated and deported despite their lack of a history of serious crime.
When the government believes an alien has violated immigration law, it can impose a “removal proceeding” on the individual. This process is governed by the Immigration and Nationality Act, and is overseen by an immigration judge. ICE can start the proceedings by serving the person with a notice to appear and charging them with violations of the law. Once a case is commenced, the person may be able to apply for relief from removal.
If an application for relief from removal is denied, the judge will issue a final order of deportation. This decision will be based on the evidence presented during the hearing. Generally, a hearing will take place over the course of 3-6 months depending on whether or not the person is being detained and how busy the Immigration Court where they are located is.
The first hearing is a master calendar hearing, or the initial hearing, which is a short hearing to determine how the case will proceed. During the hearing, the judge will review the facts and charges in the Notice to Appearance, and hear arguments from both sides. The government will argue that the person is deportable and should be removed, while the applicant will present evidence that they should not be deported. During the hearing, the applicant will testify on their behalf and be questioned by the immigration judge. The judge will then make a decision at the end of the hearing, or later.
Once a person is ordered deported, they cannot reapply to return to the United States for several years or perhaps ever. That’s why it’s so important to work with an experienced and caring immigration lawyer. The stakes are high for everyone involved in a removal proceeding. A positive result can save a life, while a negative decision can change one forever. Our attorneys have the skills and experience to help you. We fight to protect your rights and the future of your family. If you are facing deportation, contact our firm to discuss your situation. We offer a free consultation. Call 212-691-5399 to schedule an appointment.