Deportation Proceedings Explained

What are my rights if I am facing removal?

It is estimated that between 11 and 20 million undocumented immigrants currently reside in the United States. Undocumented immigrants typically enter the United States without legal permission or inspection, or through the use of false papers. Immigrants that enter legally but remain on expired paperwork or those involved in deportation proceedings are also considered illegal immigrants. President Trump has pledged to crackdown on illegal immigrants, raising concerns among many individuals who are here illegally. The following is an overview of removal proceedings. For assistance with your individual immigration matter, contact an experienced immigration attorney.

The Removal Process

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is responsible for the commencement of removal proceedings, which will often be conducted through its Immigration and Customs Enforcement Division (ICE). There are several ways in which an investigation may be launched into your citizenships status, including a work place raid, an arrest, a phoned-in tip, application for a green card, and the like. Your legal right to due process will vary depending on the nature of your undocumented status, with lawful resident aliens entitled to the most due process.

Your first indication of DHS involvement will often be the Notice to Appear (NTA). The Notice to Appear will notify the alien of the nature of the proceedings, the alleged grounds for removal, the right of the alien to hire an attorney at their expense, and the consequences of failing to appear at the scheduled hearing. Anyone who receives this notice should contact an immigration attorney right away so that you, and your immigration law counsel, can begin preparing for the first hearing.

The First Hearing

It is critical that you attend the first hearing, even if you are unsure whether you have a legal ground to contest your removal. Along with your immigration law attorney, you will select dates for the subsequent proceedings. You will explore your potential defenses to deportation or consider negotiating a Voluntary Removal (VR).

The Merits Hearing

At the merits hearing, you will have the chance to defend against your removal. You have the right to testify, bring in witnesses, evidence, and more. With your lawyer’s help, you can present your strongest case for your ability to remain in the country or negotiate the best legal outcome.

If you or a friend or a family member may be facing potential deportation/removal, contact the VISASERVE Team and the NPZ Law Group by e-mail at or by calling (201) 670-0006. Our team of experienced attorneys will provide you with the skilled representation you need when your life and freedom are on the line.