The very mention of U.S. Immigration and Customs (ICE) triggers great anxiety for many immigrants and their families, especially those living in the U.S. without valid legal status. It gets even worse when ICE agents come knocking at their doors or when a loved one is taken into ICE custody. At Minsky, McCormick & Hallagan, we have experienced removal and deportation defense attorneys who help individuals and families to stop being deported.
When one is taken into ICE custody, they must be placed in what is known as “removal proceedings.” This is a process similar to but not the same as a criminal proceeding. If you have been placed in removal proceedings, you are brought before an immigration judge who will determine your fate. Before the immigration judge does this, the government must make its case as to why you should be deported. You will also have the opportunity to make your case as to why you should not be deported.
While being taken into custody is routine for many immigrants who end up in removal proceedings, it is not the only way one may end up in those proceedings. There are other ways one may find themselves in removal proceedings. For example, if you are in the United States without a valid immigration status and the USCIS or the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) becomes aware of this, you may receive a “Notice to Appear (NTA)” in the mail.
This is a formal letter that informs you that you are being charged with one or more immigration violations and that you should go to court on a date, time, and place provided in the letter for your removal hearing. At that hearing, an immigration judge will decide whether you should be deported. The immigration judge will make that decision after hearing what the government has to say and what you have to say.
The immigration judge will not only be hearing what you and the government have to say, but they will also be examining any evidence presented by either or both sides.
If you have received a Notice to Appear, you cannot ignore it. Rather, you must go to the court indicated in the notice on the date and time your hearing is scheduled. If you fail to go to court on that date and time, the immigration judge will issue an Order of Deportation against you in your absence. This means once that order is entered, you can be picked up at any time and be deported without any further hearing in your case.
It is in your best interest to have an experienced deportation attorney by your side when going through removal/deportation proceedings. The attorney will make sure you get the best defense possible against the deportation charges and stop the government from getting you deported.
If you or a loved one is facing deportation, don’t risk going it alone. Contact us today and schedule an appointment to find out how we can help you.