Barten Lantz, P.C. is experienced in representing respondents with expedited and regular removal in immigration court, motions to reopen and appeals to the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”), and Petitions for Review with the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. For information about your particular facts and circumstances, contact Barten Lantz, P.C. for an initial consultation.
The term “Removal” is used by the U.S. government whenever a non-citizen is facing deportation to the country of citizenship. A non-citizen may be detained or held by any number of criminal or immigration government entities; by the local police, state police, Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), U.S. Marshals, Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) or Immigration and Immigration Customs Enforcement (“ICE”). Also, a non-citizen may be referred to immigration court by the Asylum Office or Citizenship and Immigration Services (“CIS”) after a denial of an application for benefits.
It is very important that an immigration attorney evaluate the non-citizen’s case BEFORE the non-citizen is interrogated or accepts any type of “deal” offered. Often immigration attorneys work in conjunction with criminal attorneys when the non-citizen is charged with commission of a crime. An immigration attorney can help with determining whether immigration relief is available, help minimize damage to the possible forms of immigration relief available, and help determine ways to return to the United States legally at the earliest possible time. U.S. government authorities are under little or no obligation to provide information to a non-citizen about types of relief available and will use any statement said against the non-citizen. A non-citizen in immigration removal does not have the right to an attorney, meaning they must hire an attorney to represent them. An attorney will not be appointed. However, a non-citizen does have the right to remain silent at any time. Often the main source of information used against the non-citizen is the non-citizen him/herself. It is the government’s burden to prove that someone found within the US is a non-citizen and therefore inadmissible or deportable.
A removal that occurs to a non-citizen who has been in the United States less than 14 days and is stopped at a port of entry or within 100 miles inside the Northern or Southern border is called “expedited removal.” Expedited removal is issued by a Customs and Border Protection agent and there is no opportunity for a hearing in front of an immigration judge. There are few avenues of relief from expedited removal so that review of the case by an immigration attorney is of the utmost importance. An expedited removal can prevent the non-citizen from legally applying to return the United States for 3, 5 or 10 years depending upon when the expedited removal order was issued. A non-citizen, who re-enters illegally after an expedited removal, will face “reinstatement” of the prior expedited removal order with little relief. All other removals typically involve the immigration court and afford the non-citizen a hearing. Typically, a removal hearing evolves through 4 steps:
The Arrest occurs when the person is found by immigration enforcement and a charging document “Notice to Appear” is served upon the non-citizen
A Detention Determination is made either informally by immigration enforcement or through a Custody Re-determination Hearing in front of the Immigration Court. It will be determine whether to detain the non-citizen in a jail facility or allow them to post a bond in order to be released pending the results of the case
A Master Calendar hearing is held and the non-citizen is required to answer the allegations of the Notice to Appear and inform the immigration court of any grounds of relief s/he wish to assert and an Individual Merits hearing is scheduled
An Individual Merits hearing is a trial and the non-citizen will testify, submit evidence, and present witnesses to show s/he is eligible for relief and the immigration court will grant or deny the relief