Do you want to learn more about how to fight deportation?

If you or someone you care about is facing deportation, you probably have many questions about what you can do to stop the deportation process. Receiving a notice to appear in immigration court or being detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement may be one of the most frightening things that an immigrant will ever experience. The best thing to do if you are facing deportation is to talk to an immigration lawyer as quickly as possible about your situation to see if you have options that will allow you to remain in the United States.

How do people end up in immigration court?

People who are commonly identified and placed in deportation proceedings include: people arrested for a criminal violation or who are completing a criminal sentence, people who unsuccessfully apply for an immigration benefit, people detained during workplace raids and people arrested at a border entry point. Regardless of how you find yourself in immigration court, you should make sure that you explore all the options that are available to you to defend against deportation.

What to Expect in Immigration Court

In most cases, you will receive a Notice to Appear (NTA) that tells you the date, time and location of the court where your initial hearing will be held.

If your Notice to Appear doesn’t include a date and time for your hearing, it is important that you make sure that you don’t miss receiving the hearing notice that includes this information. Always make sure that you keep the immigration court and Immigration and Customs Enforcement updated on your mailing address. If you fail to receive your hearing notice because you didn’t update your mailing address, you may be ordered deported even though you never had a chance to present your case in court. While you are waiting for your hearing notice, you should call the immigration court information line at 1-800-898-7180 to see if you have been given a hearing date.

The initial hearing is called a Master Calendar Hearing. During your Master Calendar Hearing, you typically will answer the immigration charges against you and you may file your application for relief from removal. Depending on your situation, you may also request voluntary departure during your Master Calendar Hearing. At the end of your Master Calendar Hearing, the judge normally will schedule a trial date for the hearing on your application for relief if you have some form of relief available to you. But, if you don’t have some form of relief from deportation available to you, the immigration judge could order you to be deported. It is very important to discuss you situation with an immigration lawyer before your first hearing.

It is important to keep in mind that you must attend all of your immigration court hearings. If you do not attend your hearing, you may be ordered deported even though you have not had the opportunity to present any defense that you may have to deportation.

Learn more about the Boise Immigration Court.

Do you need a deportation lawyer to represent you in immigration court? You are not required to have a deportation lawyer and one will not be provided for you by the court. You may, however, hire an deportation lawyer to represent you at your own expense. If you cannot afford to hire a deportation lawyer you should contact your non-profit agencies to see if they can provide you free or low-cost legal assistance.

What will an immigration attorney do for you in immigration court? Your immigration attorney will help you identify any relief you may have to deportation. Depending on your circumstances you may be eligible for relief such as cancellation of removal, adjustment of status, deferred action, prosecutorial discretion,  asylum, withholding of removal or relief under the Convention Against Torture. In addition, your immigration attorney will prepare motions and legal briefs in support of your case. Your immigration attorney will also help collect and present the evidence needed to prove that you are eligible for relief from deportation. If you are placed in detention, your immigration attorney may be able to help you get released on bond.

Immigration Court Appeals

At the end of your hearing, the judge will issue a decision on your case. In some cases, if you do not get a favorable decision, you may be able to appeal this decision. But, if you do not appeal within the given time limit, the decision will be final and you will not be able to appeal the decision. Therefore, if you want to appeal the decision of the immigration judge in your case, you should act quickly.

Immigration Detention

In some cases, Immigration and Customs Enforcement will detain immigrants during the immigration court and deportation process. You can find more information about immigration detention here.

Learn more about deportation and immigration court

To help you better understand deportation and immigration court, I've collected answers to some of the most frequently asked questions that I run into as an Idaho immigration lawyer:

Frequently Asked Questions About Deportation and Immigration Court