U.S. Law Center

Deportation defense: An overview of 3 possible court hearings

The complex process of deportation and removal alarms most foreign nationals. The formality of the removal process would make anyone feel defensive and nervous. It may make you feel better to know that it is just as complicated for the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), the agency charged with overseeing deportations. Another thing that could improve your outlook on these procedures involves knowing what to expect during your court appearances.

First, it is critical to understand that engaging an attorney experienced with deportation defense can improve your odds of remaining in California. Attorneys know the challenges you face, and they know how to meet these challenges successfully. With that said, below is a brief description of three official hearings you may need to attend:

  1. The master hearing: A judge will gather information from you and your deportation defense lawyer so as to gain a good understanding of your situation. Afterward, you may schedule additional hearings so that you can gather evidence to help you remain in America.
  2. Individual hearing: Someone from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may present evidence indicating the need for deportation. Your attorney will have an equal opportunity to show why deportation is not appropriate.
  3. Withholding-only hearing: During this procedure, the immigration judge attempts to determine if you need to stay in the country due to special circumstances. For example, the judge may allow you to stay under the United Nations' Convention Against Torture.

While these hearings seem overcomplicated, they can work in your favor because they give you and your deportation defense attorney a voice. Patience combined with the right legal counsel empowers you to face these legal proceedings with confidence. In turn, this confidence can help you maintain a more positive viewpoint about creating a successful defense.

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