Practice Areas

Immigration Court and Appeals

You Are Not Alone

Receiving the notice that you or a loved one must appear before a Judge in Immigration Court is not something that you will soon forget. You wonder about your future in the United States. You know the purpose of removal proceedings but not the process. What will happen in Immigration Court? What do I say to the Judge? Most importantly, how do I prevent my deportation?

You do not need to face these questions alone. At Estrella Law, our team of experienced lawyers will not only answer your questions, we will work closely with you to provide the best legal defense possible for you while in Immigration Court.


Defend Your Rights

While there are many reasons the Government begins removal proceedings, one thing never changes: you are protected by Constitutional rights in Immigration Court. One of the most important is the right to due process, which means you are entitled to a fair trial.

You also have the right to be represented by a lawyer at your hearing, though this does not mean the government must provide you with a lawyer if you cannot afford one. Hiring a lawyer is one of the best ways to protect your rights in Immigration Court. After all, the government will be represented by a lawyer—you should too.


Know Your Options

Just because you are in removal proceedings does not mean you will be deported. We have seen with our own eyes the difference in terms of outcome between what we achieve with our tireless and thoughtful hard work and the outcomes of those who represented themselves or (even worse) were represented by a disinterested and many times lazy attorney or notario who only goes through the motions.

There are two types of hearings in Immigration Court: Master Hearings and Individual Hearings. Your first hearing will always be a master hearing. Though there may be a few more master hearings if your case is complex. The general purpose of master hearings is to determine a roadmap for the rest of your case before the Immigration Judge.

At a master hearing, the judge will review your Notice to Appear (often called an NTA) which list the legal reasons the government believes they can deport you. You will also tell the judge what type of relief you will seek. The Judge will set dates for any future hearings and deadlines for any applications.

Potential forms of relief include:

  • Asylum, Withholding of Removal, and CAT
  • Cancellation of Removal
  • Adjustment of Status
  • Waivers
  • Removal of Conditions on Residence
  • Motions to Terminate
  • Voluntary Departure

Estrella Law will work diligently with you to provide the best avenues for relief available to you. Your case will fit your needs.

Individual hearings (sometimes called “merit hearings”) are when you argue your case and defend your right to remain in the United States. Unlike master hearings, where your attorney does most of the talking, you will answer questions prepared with your attorney to best present your case—as well as any questions the Immigration Judge and government attorney have. You also may bring witnesses to testify on your behalf. At the end of the hearing, the Immigration Judge will decide your case. Grant of relief v denial.

Preparation matters. We DO NOT HAVE a standard list for ANY case. We develop our requirements for EACH case in a vacuum and tailor it to your case. You are an individual and we recognize that there is no standard list that could possibly cover all cases. We get very creative and leave no stone unturned in our attempt to make certain that your case is ready and the best possible expression of your eligibility for relief.


Win Your Appeal

Even if the Immigration Judge denies any application for relief, your case does not end there. You always have the right to appeal your case before the Board of Immigration Appeals. Appeals are very different from proceedings in Immigration Court. Appeals are not the place for new arguments and evidence. To win on appeal, you must prove the Immigration Judge made a legal mistake in your case or there are circumstances that warrant a new decision on your case.

Success on an appeal requires the full comprehension of the law and high caliber writing—skills the attorneys at Estrella Law bring to every appeal. Our job is to highlight the compelling aspects of your case and why a different decision should be reached by the Board of Immigration Appeals.

The material contained on this website does not constitute direct legal advice and is for informational purposes only. An attorney-client relationship is not presumed or intended by receipt or review of this website or any of the pages herein. The information provided should never replace informed counsel & representation when specific immigration-related guidance is required.