At an individual hearing, you can present evidence and testify that you are eligible for immigration status and must remain in the United States. Your request could be based on a family relationship, fear of harm in your home country, or your time living in the United States. The judge will ask you about your case and your life. Then, the government lawyer will question you.
Be sure to tell the truth. He also wants to tell the immigration judge that he regrets what happened and that he won't get into trouble again. It's also important to be polite to the judge and try to look your best. He wants to look the judge in the eye when he answers your questions.
Make sure you speak loud and clear so that the audience recording is clear. You should ask the immigration judge if you can make a statement at the beginning or end of your testimony. When the judge has finished asking you questions, be sure to tell the judge anything else you think is important about your case and your life. Your first hearing in Immigration Court is called a “Master Calendar Hearing.”.
This is only your first hearing before a judge. Your case will not be decided at this time. You will be given another date in the future when you can present your full case to the judge. These instructions explain what to do when you attend this hearing on your own without an attorney.
During your individual hearing, the judge devotes attention to your case and to no other. You are expected to start by presenting your defense and fully demonstrating why you deserve the relief you are requesting, such as a green card. A Master Calendar Hearing (MCH) is a brief, preliminary hearing on immigration matters, the usual beginning of efforts to expel an immigrant from the United States. You have the right to object to any document that the Immigration Service attorney may try to give to the judge if it is unfair or false.
A foreign citizen can seek asylum, withholding of deportation (retention) and relief under the Convention Against Torture (CAT) before an immigration judge (IJ) as a defense in deportation proceedings if they have been placed in deportation proceedings for some other reason, such as an ICE labor raid or criminal arrest. Unlike the asylum interview, deportation procedures are contradictory, with an attorney from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) (most of the time) fighting relief for the applicant. If you have been arrested by immigration authorities, or your case has been referred to the immigration court (EOIR) after an application you filed was rejected, your first hearing will simply be a brief meeting with the immigration judge (IJ), called the Master Calendar hearing. If you are requesting one of the defenses against deportation, the immigration judge will give you time to fill out the application.
Before an immigration judge can grant an application for asylum, deportation hold, or CAT, the ICE trial lawyer must confirm that the applicant's biometric data (fingerprints) have passed security clearances. Therefore, many types of evidence that would present difficult problems in other courts can easily be admissible in immigration court. Merits hearings in immigration court are comparable to administrative law proceedings in other federal or state agencies. It is important to inform the IJ if you are working on the pro bono case and if you are generally not an immigration practitioner.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is responsible for initiating removal proceedings, often through its Division of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, known as ICE. In addition, the EOIR is encouraging IJ's to avoid in-person master calendar hearings by having immigrants' lawyers submit documents explaining what defenses they are going to claim and then schedule individual hearings. However, immigration procedures are not governed by the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) and tend to be more informal than those governed by APA standards. One of the purposes of the MCH is for the defendant (this is how he will refer to his client in immigration court proceedings), through an attorney, if represented, to plead the charges in the NTA, that is, admit or deny that they are accurate.
Legal representation is essential to developing a defense strategy, preserving the rights of the alien and presenting the best possible case in immigration court. . .
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