DEPORATION - IMMIGRATION'S PROCESS OF REMOVING FOREIGN ALIENS - PART 2

Hello again everyone! This week's article is Part 2 of my discussion on Deportations. In Part 1, I went over crimes of "moral turpitude", aggravated felonies, and other deportable offenses. This week, I will go over service of the Notice to Appear (NTA), which is the formal charging document beginning the process of removal, and the different hearings that the court may schedule. Let us begin.


The Beginning of the Process: Service of the Notice to Appear (NTA)

The removal process normally begins when the US Department of Homeland Security ("DHS") sends you a Form I-862, Notice to Appear (NTA) - see my attached sample NTA for reference. The NTA will indicate your name and the country in which you were born, as well as the following:

• The date you are to appear in court before an Immigration Judge (IJ)

• Nature of the proceedings

• Legal authority under which the proceedings are being brought

• The alleged acts you committed that violated the law

• Charges filed against you and the statutory laws that have been allegedly violated

• Your right and ability to be represented by an attorney at your own expense, and

• The consequences of your failure to appear at the hearing (which include that you might be issued an order of deportation in your absence, which would block any chance you might have of gaining U.S. immigration benefits for the next ten years, at least).


The Master Hearing

During this first hearing, the court will verify your identity: Name, current address, etc., review the allegations against you in the charging NTA, and possibly determine whether you accept or deny them. If the judge determines that the basic charges in the NTA are correct, but that you may possibly be eligible for some form of relief, the judge can schedule another hearing. The judge can set these future master hearings to secure additional documents, prepare evidence, conduct discovery, or await the status of a pending application with the USCIS.


Individual "Merits" Hearing

The merits hearing is the trial portion of your deportation case. At this hearing, the government's attorney (Counsel for DHS) has the burden of proving by "clear, convincing, and unequivocal evidence" that you, the alien, is removable. At this individual hearing, you or your attorney will make your defense: Opening statement, call and examine witnesses, prepare evidentiary exhibits, and make a convincing case that removal is not appropriate.


Judges' Decision

At the conclusion of your individual merits hearing/trial, the immigration judge will review everything that was presented - evidentiary documents, applications, witness testimony, sworn affidavits, etc. - and make a decision.

JC's Conclusion: I hope none of you out there must ever endure a deportation. Receiving an NTA is stressful and the process of defending one is not fun. It can be scary, tiresome, and outright, one of the worse things that can happen in anyone's life. I hope you never receive an NTA, but if you do, I am here to help you.

As always, if you have any questions still left unanswered or you have general questions regarding other legal issues, or even if you have comments, please email me at: JC4LAW@HOTMAIL.COM or contact my office at (818) 846-5639, or my Thai direct line at (818) 505-4921. Also be sure to check us out on the web at: WWW.JC4LAW.COM, and on FACEBOOK at: https://www.facebook.com/ThaiAttorney Be sure to follow (and "like") me for the most recent updates in the law! For those in Thailand or outside of the United States, I am now reachable using the LINE app. My LINE ID is: JC_Esq


Disclaimer: The information contained herein have been prepared for informational purposes only and are not to be considered legal advice unless otherwise specified. If you have a specific question regarding your personal case, please contact the Law Offices of Joseph Chitmongran for a full consultation.