Immigration courts use the removal process in order to determine whether a person should be removed (deported) from the country. Removal can apply to aliens for various reasons. For instance, an alien may become subject to the removal process if they entered the country illegally, or if they commit certain types of crime.  

The removal process has various steps; these may or may not lead to the issuing of a formal removal order, depending on the facts of each case.

How Does the Removal Process Start?

The removal process generally begins when the person in question is sent a “Notice to Appear.” This is a formal government document that informs the person of information related to their removal case, including:

  • Why the person is being summoned to appear in an immigration court
  • In what way the person supposedly broke the law or committed a violation
  • Consequences of not attending the hearing

Once the actual hearings begin, the person being summoned to appear may be subject to various interviews and other processes.  The purpose is to review the evidence which will prove whether or not the person is removable.  As mention, removal may occur for a variety of reasons, but a common reason is the commission of a serious crime.

What Are Removal Proceedings?

Removal proceedings are a type of legal process connected with removal cases. They are hearings that may be required if an alien commits certain crimes or violations and are facing deportation as a result.

These proceedings are generally held before an immigration judge who is appointed to hear removal cases. Attorneys and members of an immigration board who are trained to review removal cases may also be involved in the removal proceeding for an individual.

Who Is Subject to Removal Proceedings?

Non-citizen aliens who are suspected of being removable may be subject to removal proceedings. These proceedings are usually done individually, on a case-by-case basis. Common removal/deportability grounds include:

  • Overstaying a visa
  • Violations of criminal statutes
  • Denial of immigration petition applications
  • Other problems or issues that might make a person’s presence in the U.S. illegal

Is There Any Relief From Removal?

In some cases, relief from removal may be available to the person. For instance, cancellation of removal may apply in some cases. These types of relief will of course b e subject to proof and evidence. 

Another aspect of removal cases is the idea of “suspension of removal.” This is where the removal proceedings are suspended or delayed due to an administrative need, such as if the person is involved in an ongoing court case. While this is not a permanent remedy, it does involve a temporary suspension of the removal process. 

Is Relief From Removal Automatically Granted?

Relief from removal is not granted as an automatic course of options. Usually, the person being summoned for removal proceedings will need to specifically request for relief from removal from the judge or immigration panel in charge of the proceeding.

The earlier in the process that such requests are made, the better chances the applicant will have in obtaining relief. Also, the applicant will need to supply evidence in support of their request for relief. This evidence can include statements and documents showing their eligibility for relief.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help With the Removal Process?

The removal process can often be very complicated and confusing to some people.  You may need to hire a qualified immigration lawyer if you or a loved one of yours needs assistance with the removal process. Your attorney can inform you of your legal rights throughout the process. Also, immigration laws are subject to frequent change, but your attorney can keep you up to speed.