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What to expect if you are facing removal proceedings

If you have recently been served with a Notice to Appear and are concerned that you could be deported or removed from the U.S., you can undoubtedly be very frightened. Leaving the country can mean leaving behind your loved ones and having to go to a country where you may not feel safe or comfortable.

It won't help the situation if you are unsure of what to expect from the deportation process, which can be legally complicated and emotionally taxing. However, having some information on what you may be able to expect can ease some anxiety and help you prepare for the road ahead.

As noted in this article on deportation procedures, one of the first things you will want to do is secure legal representation. While this is not absolutely necessary, having an attorney by your side can be crucial in helping you navigate the court system and understand your legal rights and options.

Once representation has been established, there will be a hearing to review the reasons why you have received an order for removal. At this hearing, a judge will determine whether the order and the reasons for deportation are accurate. This will be based on many factors including witness testimony and reviews of documents like immigration visas and criminal records. If a judge decides there are violations that are grounds for deportation, then it can be ordered.

This does not mean all hope is lost, however. You will have 30 days to file an appeal of the decision. You may also choose to apply for relief from deportation. This could include seeking asylum or an adjustment of status. You may also choose to leave voluntarily which lifts the bar on re-entry.

This process can be confusing and overwhelming. Considering how high the stakes are when it comes to orders for removal, it can be crucial to discuss your options with an immigration attorney sooner rather than later if you or a loved one is facing the possibility of deportation. 

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Our firm is a recognized leader in immigration law and litigation. We handle the spectrum from family and employment-based visas to deportation defense and immigration appeals. Founding partner Ira Kurzban authored the Immigration Law Sourcebook, widely used by immigration lawyers, judges and government officials as the authoritative field reference.

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