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What Happens In Immigration Court?

STERN Law, LLC is committed to protecting non-U.S. citizens because we fundamentally appreciate how difficult the immigration process can be. In our effort to support you, we wanted to take a moment to outline the steps of a deportation case. Even the idea of one can be overwhelming. People become more anxious when unfamiliar with a specific process because they fill the missing gaps with their preconceived ideas. Understanding what happens in immigration court and the available options to you is crucial for both your future and your peace of mind. 

The Immigration Court Process

During a deportation proceeding, the judge reviews your immigration status and any evidence of violations of immigration law, which could include presence in the U.S without status, criminal convictions, or other violations of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).. This is to determine whether you are eligible for a bond. In the context of immigration law, a bond is a financial guarantee that the person facing deportation will appear for their scheduled court hearings. They will also be expected to comply with any court orders issued by the judge. If the judge finds that you are a good candidate for release on bond, which your attorney will fight for if you are eligible, you will be released from detention while the case is ongoing. 

At the deportation hearing, the government presents evidence demonstrating that you should be removed from the United States. However, you (and your attorney) have the opportunity to create a defense and refute the claims made by the government. Ultimately, a judge makes the final determination as to whether you will be deported. Evidence plays an important role. The government may use the following:

  • Criminal record
  • Immigration history 
  • Facts or evidence that demonstrate you pose a danger to the community 
  • Argue that you are a flight risk (to keep someone detained during the process)

Your chosen legal counsel will also use evidence that aligns with your defense. For instance, they show what steps you have taken to rehabilitate yourself after a criminal conviction, displaying your ties to the country via family, employment, or property ownership, and any other compelling reason your attorney deems vital to your defense. 

Types of Relief

STERN Law, LLC fights for people to remain in this country. Find an attorney who is committed as we are to protecting your future. Even if a judge determines that you are subject to removal or deportationfrom the United States, several different forms of relief may be available to you. Never give up. 

  • “Voluntary Departure” allows you to leave this country voluntarily and within a specific timeframe. The benefit is that you will not face the penalties associated with removal, and you can leave on your terms after your affairs are in order. 
  • There is also “Cancellation of Removal”. As the name suggests, you can live in this country permanently as a legal resident, if this is granted. You should discuss this with legal counsel because there are specific criteria that someone must meet to be eligible. This extends to length of time in the U.S., evidence of  good moral character and showing how a removal would create an “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship.”
  • Some non-US citizens can seek asylum. Asylum protects people who can establish that they will suffer harm or persecution in their home country. 
  • Lastly, people can work with immigration attorneys to adjust their status and become legal permanent residents. Though there are several different requirements, many are tied to having qualifying status and a qualifying relative Petitioner  who is either a legal permanent resident or a U.S. citizen. 

Speak with Attorneys Who Care 

If you or someone you care about is facing a deportation proceeding, contact STERN Law, LLC. Everyone on our staff is here to support you. We will help you understand your options and rights while tirelessly working for you to stay in the United States. Never forget that building a better life for you and your family is within reach, and you deserve an advocate who believes that.

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The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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