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What Are Your Responsibilities In Removal Proceedings?


Being deported is not something any immigrant expects. But the reality is that many immigrants are deported every year from the United States of America. According to Pew Research Center, in 2018, 337,000 immigrants were deported from the United States. Of the 337,000 immigrants deported in 2018, 44% had criminal convictions. Apart from criminal convictions, other common reasons for deportation include clerical errors and failing to file for an extension on a green card.

However, before an immigrant is deported from the United States, proceedings, known as removal proceedings, take place to determine the immigrant’s removability. If you are in removal proceedings, it is crucial that you understand the process. One of the most vital things you should know if you are in removal proceedings is that you have certain responsibilities as the respondent. Failure to understand your responsibilities could result in you doing something that could increase your chances of removal from the U.S.

Understand Your Responsibilities if You Are in Removal Proceedings

If you are facing removal proceedings, you should know that you have several responsibilities, and it is crucial that you do what you are supposed to do to increase your chances of seeing a positive outcome from your case. The responsibilities you have as a respondent in removal proceedings include the following;

Attending Your Scheduled Court Hearings

It is crucial that you attend your scheduled court hearings. Failure to attend court hearings will most likely lead to an order of removal in your absence and the loss of any bond money you paid. You will also most likely be arrested.

Sometimes things come up that result in a respondent being unable to attend a scheduled court hearing. The court understands this. However, if you have a genuine reason for missing a court hearing, you should ask permission from the court in advance. To be excused from attending a court hearing, you should get a court order with a new hearing date.

Reporting Address Changes

During removal proceedings, the court communicates with respondents primarily through the mail. Therefore, you must keep the court informed about any address changes. As a respondent in removal proceedings, you must report any address change within five days through Form EOIR-33. If you fail to report an address change, the immigration court might not be able to send crucial documents to you that contain vital information.

Meeting Deadlines

There are several deadlines you need to meet when in removal proceedings. For example, you may need to meet a filing deadline. You may also need to present evidence to the court by a particular date. Ensure you meet all the deadlines given by the court. If you fail to meet deadlines, the court might conclude that you have deserted your case. You might be deported if you miss deadlines.

Reporting to a Deportation Officer

This may apply to you if you were detained and then later released. If you were detained and then set free, failing to report to a deportation officer might result in you being arrested and losing any bond money you paid.

Contact an NYC Immigration Attorney

If you are in removal proceedings and need help from an experienced attorney, contact our NYC immigration attorney, Mark I. Cohen, Esq.


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