The removal system in the United States refers to actions by an immigration judge that may result in an immigrant being forced to leave the U.S. The term “removal proceedings” replaced the term “deportation.” These proceedings may strongly affect the more than two million immigrants who live in New Jersey.
Reasons for removal proceedings
The range of reasons that the U.S. government may begin the removal process ranges from illegal activities to overstaying your visa. The most common reasons that the government begins the removal process include:
- Green card status violation
- Marital fraud
- Stayed beyond the terms of your visa
- Felony convictions
- Drug crimes
- Any type of immigration fraud
- Rejection of asylum status
- Some misdemeanor crimes
- Illegal employment
- Unlawful entry into the country
Notice to Appear
Immigration law requires that the Department of Homeland Security conduct the removal proceedings. The Department sends a Notice to Appear. The Notice to Appear should include a list of reasons for the removal process and instruct you on your legal right to an attorney. Your Notice to Appear refers to the master calendar hearing. If you fail to attend this meeting to discuss the alleged violations of your immigrant status, the court will automatically agree to schedule your removal.
In some cases, the courts may grant you the ability to leave the country without continuing through the removal process. If you agree to these terms, you may avoid being arrested. Voluntary departure may also allow you to return to the U.S. in the future.
Fighting the removal process
Even if the government alleges that you have violated your immigration status in some way, you still have a legal right to fight removal. You may argue that the charges against you were incorrect or argue for a change in your immigrant status.