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Immigration Removal Hearing

Unlawful presence in the United States can result from illegally crossing the border, over staying your visa, or receiving a criminal conviction as a non-citizen. If you are unlawfully present in the United States, you may become subject to removal proceedings. Many people use the words “removal” and “deportation” interchangeably because prior to 1997 before the Illegal Immigration Reform & Immigration Responsibility Act “IIRIRA” took effect, these hearings were actually called deportation proceedings. A removal hearing is an administrative proceeding to determine whether you are in fact removable under United States immigration law, after weighing all the factors. Removal hearings are typically conducted by the Executive Office for Immigration Review “EOIR” which is in charge of the Immigration Court, and all proceedings are overseen by an immigration judge. In New Jersey, the immigration court is located in Newark and Elizabeth. At the Law Offices of William A. Proetta our immigration attorneys represent clients from across New Jersey in removal hearings such as Perth Amboy, West New York, Paterson, Woodbridge, Union City, North Bergen, and Jersey City. Contact our office at (732) 450-8300 to speak with an immigration lawyer during a free consultation.

The Removal Hearing Procedure

Once you are served with a Notice to Appear by a U.S. immigration official and have been notified that you are subject to removal proceedings, you will be referred to as a “respondent”, which is analogous to a defendant in criminal proceedings. Each proceeding is heard and decided by immigration judge, on a case by case basis. Immigration judges are appointed by the Attorney General and are therefore part of the Department of Justice “DOJ”. Moreover, removal proceedings are prosecuted by state attorneys from the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”). Their job as advocates for the State is to argue for and pursue the removal of aliens who are unlawfully present in the United States. This is why it is always strongly recommended that you consult with and retain an immigration attorney if you are subject to removal proceedings. As mentioned above, people who may be subject to removability include people suspected of entering the United States without inspection, remaining in the United States beyond the terms permitted by a visa, committing certain crimes (Aggravated Felony & Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude) even if in lawful status, or otherwise being present in the United States unlawfully.

The Notice to Appear will contain a list of factual allegations against the respondent specifically citing to the reasons while the individual’s status is unlawful and why they are subject to removal. If a respondent fails to appear to the removal hearing, the immigration judge will enter in absentia or default order of removal, absent any extenuating circumstances. When the respondent appears in court at the Master Hearing, the respondent is expected to address the allegations against them by way of a plea. Upon contesting the charges, the respondent can then make application for any relief from removal such as Asylum or Cancellation of Removal. Thereafter, if the respondent will be required to appear back before the immigration judge for a Merits Hearing to present evidence in support of the relief requested. An experienced immigration attorney can make sure every element of application for relief is properly presented and can also often help ascertain relief from the court that may not be known to the respondent at the time. If you would like to speak with an immigration lawyer about a removal proceeding that has been issued against you or your family member, contact us today at (732) 450-8300 to learn more about how we can help.

Master Hearing Removal Proceeding Merits Hearing Relief from Removal
Stay of Removal Cancellation of Removal
Asylum NJ Immigration Lawyer Restriction on Removal