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The removal process in the immigration court system

Immigrants in Kentucky who do not have proper documentation may be wondering what the removal process is like, should the unthinkable happen. According to FindLaw, the process may begin with a Notice to Appear. This document is served to the immigrant, as well as being filed with the immigration court. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is the federal agency that issues the notification.

The NTA includes details about any alleged illegal activities of the immigrant, such as the following:

  • Failure to acquire proper documentation
  • Marriage fraud
  • Certain criminal offenses
  • Violation of conditions of entry
  • Falsification of documents
  • Creation of a national security risk

FindLaw explains further that the NTA also includes the consequences of missing any of the scheduled hearings, and that the immigrant has the right to legal representation at his or her expense. 

One or more master hearings establish the immigrant's name and address, whether he or she will be represented by an attorney and any translation issues that need to be addressed. Documentation and evidence gathering, the discovery process or pending applications may be reasons for further master hearings. If the court finds that deportation is appropriate, an immigrant may not receive another hearing. However, he or she may be able to apply for relief from deportation, if eligible.

Other hearings that may follow if the immigrant is not slated for removal during the master hearings include:

  • Individual hearing
  • Bond redetermination hearing
  • Withholding-only hearing
  • Rescission hearing

Immigrants must typically able to prove that they meet specific criteria that prevent them from being deported, such as qualifying for asylum or refugee status. 

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