Inside Immigration Courts: Understanding the Removal Process and Its Implications - The Law Office of Rosina Stambaugh
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Inside Immigration Courts: Understanding the Removal Process and Its Implications

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What Does It Mean to Be Placed in Removal Proceedings?

Removal proceedings are also known as deportation proceedings. You should take the matter seriously when you’re placed in the process, as you risk being deported. The government of the United States can potentially put a non-citizen into removal proceedings for reasons such as misrepresentation or fraud in acquiring their green card.
The proceedings require that you appear before an immigration judge as your immigration status is challenged. Finding yourself in this situation can be scary and confusing. It may even get worse if you don’t know what happens during the proceedings and how you can fight to protect your rights. Skilled immigration lawyers in Pennsylvania can come to your defense.

What Are Some Common Reasons for Removal Proceedings?

Generally, immigrants who have successfully naturalized their US citizenship are protected from removal. Nonetheless, the government can de-naturalize and deport citizens under the following circumstances:
A green card holder convicted of a serious crime
An immigrant who is unlawfully present in the country and is arrested by immigration enforcement
A conditional green card holder denied conditional status based on marriage fraud
An asylum applicant is referred to an immigration judge mostly due to a denial
An F-1 student who no longer goes to school but fails to leave the country
If any of these situations apply to you and you receive a Notice to Appear, consult skilled removal process defense lawyers in Pennsylvania. They can evaluate your case and legally guide you on how to prepare for the proceedings and what to expect.

Difference Between Removal and Deportation

There is no difference between removal and deportation. However, removal is a new legal term, often used interchangeably with deportation. The term encompasses inadmissibility and deportation. Removal proceedings imply that the government is starting a legal process that could result in you being deported.
People seeking admission into the country are subject to inadmissibility under INA 212 (a), while those already admitted are subject to the grounds of deportation under INA Sec 237. Skilled removal process defense lawyers in York, PA, can help you understand how these laws apply to your situation.

What Should I Expect During Removal Proceedings?

Removal proceedings start when the government initiates the process and orders for removal.

Notice to Appear

The government issues a Notice to Appear (NTA), which includes all the allegations in the case against you. It also contains the following information:
The nature of the proceedings
The legal authority for conducting the proceedings
The opportunity to be represented by counsel at no expense to the government
The consequences of non-appearance at scheduled hearings
The requirement to provide the Attorney General with a written record of your address or phone number
The NTA is a charging document requiring that the immigration judge finds you removable from the United States if they can prove the allegations. The notice may include a hearing date, without which the government will mail a separate document.
Consult skilled immigration lawyers in Pennsylvania immediately after you receive the NTA. They can evaluate the document’s details and have ample time to work with you to create a strong defense strategy.

Master Calendar Hearing

The master calendar hearing is the initial hearing that allows the immigration judge to assess the case against you quickly. They will determine if there’s a realistic basis for relief, determining if you’ll proceed to the next step.
If there’s no basis for relief, the judge may order your immediate deportation. Working with skilled York removal process defense lawyers enhances your chances of proceeding to the next step and gaining a favorable outcome.

Individual Hearing

During this step, your immigration attorneys can present evidence to help you win relief from deportation. They will also apply to suspend the removal proceedings. The judge may deny this application, resulting in an order for removal. The hearing may last only a few hours.


Fortunately, the law allows you to appeal the decision of the immigration judge. The government may also appeal the decision, which provides an automatic stay on the removal order. The removal order can’t be effected while the appeal is pending at the Board of Immigration Appeals. Ensure to file your request within 30 days of the judge’s decision.

How Can I Defend Myself During the Removal Proceedings?

Being subjected to removal proceedings is embarrassing and can significantly affect your ability to remain or return to the United States. During the appeal process, your immigration attorney may be able to help you avoid deportation through various deportation strategies.
While there is no single formula for escaping the removal process, a lawyer who is experienced with deportation defense may be able to help you, depending on your unique situation. Some of the most common defenses against deportation from the US at the immigration court removal hearing are:
Waivers for criminal offenses
Violence Against Women Act VAWA
U Visas for Victims of Crime
Cancellation of Removal
T Visas for human trafficking victims
Temporary Protected Status
Deferred Action for Certain Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
Asylum and Withholding of Removal
Convention Against Torture
Adjustment of Status to Permanent Residence
Your lawyers can evaluate your case and determine the most favorable defense for you in your situation.

An Experienced Immigration Attorney Defending You Against Deportation

Facing deportation charges can be stressful and complex, especially because a deportation order curtails your dreams and aspirations of living in the United States. Fortunately, you can challenge the immigration court’s decision to have you removed from the country. Enlist the help of experienced removal process defense lawyers in York, PA.
The empathetic attorneys at The Law Office of Rosina Stambaugh pursue every opportunity to protect our clients from removal. We evaluate their cases and provide legal counsel on how to appeal the court’s removal decision. Call us at 717-900-1818 to schedule an initial consultation if you’re at risk of deportation.

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Rosina Stambaugh

Rosina C. Stambaugh, founder of The Law Office of Rosina C. Stambaugh in York, brings a wealth of expertise to immigration law. With a focus on removal defense, Ms. Stambaugh has successfully litigated cases across various Immigration Courts, the Board of Immigration Appeals, and the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, offering comprehensive support to clients facing diverse immigration challenges. She also represents individuals and families applying for affirmative benefits with U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services.

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