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Deportation proceedings: An involved process

People who come into the United States from other countries sometimes don't have all of their documentation in order when they arrive here. In some cases, the person's term to remain here might expire before they leave. If the authorities find people who are in these situations, they can begin deportation procedures. This can be a very stressful time for those individuals and their loved ones.

Some people think that deportation is a quick process that doesn't involve much work. The truth is that there is an entire legal process that is used to handle removal from this country. Here are some points that you should know about the deportation process:

Notice to Appear

The Notice to Appear is one of the first documents that is involved in the removal process. The Department of Homeland Security serves the foreign national with this document. Once this happens, it is filed with the immigration court.

This notice is meant to inform the person about the immigration proceedings in which they must participate. It also requires them to provide specific information, including their current phone numbers and addresses.

There is a lot of information in the Notice to Appear. It outlines the charges against the person and the consequences of failing to attend the scheduled court dates. It also lets them know what legal entity is bringing forth the charges.

Hearings before the court

The first court date is known as the master hearing, which is sort of like a status hearing. The court goes over some basic information with the foreign national. This can include the person's name and address, their desire for an attorney, and whether a translator is needed or not. It is possible for a person to have more than one master hearing, depending on the circumstances.

Another court proceeding is the individual hearing. This is the trial portion of the removal process. During this hearing, the DHS officials must prove that the person is removable from this country. The evidence must be "clear, convincing and unequivocal." Both sides of the case can call witnesses, provide evidence and make statements.

Some other types of hearings that might occur include withholding-only, bond redetermination, and rescission hearings. These can occur in some cases but not others. Understanding the purpose of each can often help a person work through the process in the way they feel is the best.

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