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Why it’s critical to have an attorney on your side when you’re facing deportation

A Memphis news reporter recently sat down with a retired immigration judge to gain some perspective as to how this unique court system works and any steps immigrants could take to achieve the best outcome in their deportation cases.

The judge noted that the odds of a defendant reversing fate in such instances is very low. He did hint that those immigrants who have an attorney advocating for them have a much stronger chance of success than others, though. 

What is deportation?

Deportation refers to a process by which a government agency identifies specific individuals that it plans to repatriate or return to their country of origin. 

How do deportation hearings generally go?

The judge points out that a significant portion of time allotted for the deportation hearing goes to interpreters translating documents and anything else that happens, a factor that results in these “trials” being relatively brief. 

There’s often a presentation of evidence at such hearings. The retired judge noted that it doesn’t usually involve outside witness testimony or an evidence presentation. He said that it generally amounts to nothing more than the government and defendant presenting their narrative of events as to why the deportation should occur. 

What rights do immigrants have at such hearings?

While immigrants can have attorneys representing them at these hearings, the government doesn’t provide them, and many defendants can’t afford to hire their own. 

There aren’t any juries to decide such matters either, so their fate lies exclusively in a judge’s hands. The immigration court system is so backlogged that defendants who file appeals must generally wait a significant amount of time before they have a hearing in court again. 

How to proceed in your deportation case

If there’s one thing that you should know about the immigration court system, the government will invest any money and efforts to prove their case necessary to secure your deportation. You need a good advocate on your side who understands the odds you’re facing here in Colorado and will fight for your rights. An immigration law attorney may be the right person to argue why a judge should allow you to stay here in Glenwood Springs.