Do you have a hearing in front of an immigration judge soon? The entire process is difficult for most people. If you are limited in using English, it can be even more scary.
You can learn more about what to expect before you ever step foot in a courtroom. Gaining a better idea of what to expect will ease your anxiety. This is important for the well-being of you and your loved ones.
There are more practical reasons to prepare yourself ahead of time. Things can move very quickly for you once they call your name. The courts are so burdened that many judges spend less time asking you questions and listening to your story that justifies a ruling that lets you stay in the U.S.
You will typically attend at least two hearings in immigration court for your deportation case. The first will be the Master Calendar Hearing. You will not discuss the merits of your application to stay in the U.S. at this first hearing. The judge will set the calendar for what happens next…the date when documentation must be submitted to the court, the date of your individual hearing, and any other scheduling issues. At the master, you will plea to the charges in your Notice to Appear and you will submit any applications for immigration relief that you choose to.
Remember, when you attend the Master Calendar Hearing the judge will typically not ask you for much information about your situation (the judge will more commonly speak with your attorney directly). The more in-depth personal testimony will happen during your second kind of court hearing, called the individual hearing.
This video from Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C. provides a quick overview about what to expect in court. You can find free informational videos on many other issues that may interest you about the U.S. immigration system on the firm’s YouTube channel. If you would like more information, please contact the Landerholm team at its website or call us at (510) 491-0291.