What will occur if my loved one loses their removal hearing?

If you have a loved one who’s lost their removal hearing and they’re detained, unfortunately they most likely will be detained during that time period. If you have somebody who loses their removal proceeding and they are not detained, I know people get concerned that they’ll be arrested right in the courtroom. Generally that doesn’t happen unless there’s a criminal conviction that makes them subject to detention.

If the person is not detained, they most likely will continue to live their life. If the person’s detained, they will unfortunately have to stay in custody while you appeal. You have 30 days to file a notice of appeal after a judge’s decision. If you don’t file that notice of appeal in 30 days, then you have lost the case and it’s a final decision by the immigration judge. Once you file a notice of appeal, you’re going to get a transcript back of the proceeding from the Board of Immigration Appeals. It’s going to be the whole story, the whole transcript of what happened from day one of when your loved one started the proceedings.

A lawyer, generally, is going to write a brief explaining why the decision of the immigration judge should be overturned and you should win your appeal. The government sometimes will write a response if they think it’s necessary or they’ll just write a response saying, “Please rely on the judge’s decision.” Either way, the person’s going to have to wait for a final decision on the outcome of the appeal. If the person is detained, I will say that the Board of Immigration Appeals handles those cases a lot faster. If they are non-detained, it could take at least eight months before you would have a decision as to whether you have won your case on appeal or not.

I will tell you that, depending on the judge, in many circumstances, it is hard to win on appeal, but if you think you have an appeal-able issue, then you definitely should go ahead and fight for your case. Contact a good immigration lawyer, such as myself, to help you with your appeal.

Cheryl David is an experienced immigration attorney, practicing throughout NYC. If you have any questions regarding removal hearings or immigration procedures in general, please contact the office for a free initial consultation.