People entering or living in the United States illegally is a serious problem that the U.S. government constantly tries to address by finding and deporting those who are found to be in the United States without valid legal status. At Minsky, McCormick & Hallagan, P.C., we have experienced removal and deportation defense attorneys in Elgin who help clients mount a successful defense against deportation.
When the government wants to have someone deported from the United States for being in the country illegally or for other reasons, there are steps set forth under the law the government must follow before having the person deported. These steps are taken in a process called “removal proceedings,” and here is how that unfolds:
This is the legal document that formally starts the removal proceedings. The NTA is a charging document in which the government states the reason the individual it is served (issued to) is deportable. The NTA does not present any evidence but presents the allegations that the government will be required to prove in the removal proceedings, which are presided over by an immigration judge. The NTA is either issued after someone has been taken into custody by the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or after the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) denies an application filed by someone seeking immigration benefits.
It is imperative to appear in the court specified in the NTA and on the date and time scheduled. If one does not show up for court as scheduled on the NTA, the immigration judge will order that person deported in absentia, meaning without the person being given the opportunity to defend themselves against the deportation charges in the NTA. This means ICE officers can locate the person and have them deported without any hearing before an immigration judge. In some cases, if the person deported in absentia takes action before being apprehended, or even after they have been arrested on order of deportation, an experienced deportation lawyer could help them have the order vacated by reopening their case.
An immigration trial is when the government will make its case why the person facing removal should be deported. The individual will also then have an opportunity to make their case as to why they should not be deported. An immigration judge will listen to both sides, weigh the evidence presented and consider all the defenses raised and then render a decision as to whether the person facing deportation should be removed from the United States and deported – usually to their native country.
Facing deportation is a very serious matter and is akin to facing criminal charges. Indeed, many people facing deportation are held in custody no different from those facing criminal charges. If you or a loved one is facing deportation, contact our office, and one of our experienced immigration lawyers in Elgin will talk to you to understand your situation and offer advice about the best way forward.