If your loved one is facing deportation, these are some of the most important things you will need to do and to know :
Get their full name and any aliases.
Find out their immigration status.(i.e. Green Card Holder, Asylee/Refugee, Valid Visa Holder, Unauthorized)
Get their Alien Registration Number (A#). This can be found on any document that immigration provides. This is usually an eight or nine digit number.(A# XXXXXXXX)
If you don’t know where your loved one is being held, they can be located using the government website: https://locator.ice.gov/odls/homePage.do
Get a copy of the Notice to Appear (NTA) (Form I-862). This is the charging document that the US government will use to outline their case. It is very important to understand the charges.
Read the NTA carefully since it may contain errors that may affect the case one way or the other. (It is important also to pay attention to any hearing dates. These are usually found at the end of the first page of the NTA)
The Immigration Court date. If you do not know when the court date is, call the Immigration Court’s Toll Free Hotline: 800-898-7180.
This is an automated system and you will be prompted to enter your loved one’s A#. There are four different options; access all of them as they may have crucial information related to your loved one’s case
You can call our hotline at 646 290 5551 for help. Please have your loved one's A# accessible and we encourage you to review the info below so you can have a better understanding of how deportations work.
This diagram from Deportation 101 will help you understand how the deportation system works and the timeframe
The Immigration Court: (The Executive Office of Immigration Review, (EOIR)
There are three types of hearings that can happen in immigration court. These are:
ICE officials, i.e. Immigration Judges (IJ) and Deportation Officers (DO),may make a determination whether to release your loved one, either on bond, usually $1,500 or more, or on “their own recognizance” without bond.
How can my loved one be released on bond?
It must be established to the satisfaction of the officials that your loved one is not a flight risk and does not present a danger to persons or property. They can present evidence and witnesses on their behalf to that they should be granted bond or be released because they are not a flight risk or a threat to society.
Master Calendar Hearing:
The first court date in the NTA will be for a Master Calendar date. On Master Calendar dates, the IJ mostly deals with scheduling, filling applications, pleadings to the immigration charges and other administrative issues. Usually, this hearing will be merely to discuss the loved one’s options and to schedule a new date. Witnesses will be not called, your loved one will not be asked about the details of their case, nor will the judge make a decision on the case if the court is being asked for some sort of relief. The loved one at this hearing, states his case for relief from removal.
Individual or Merits Hearing(s): The individual/merits hearing is the final hearing before the immigration judge. At the hearing, the individual presents to the IJ any evidence and testimony in support of his/her applications for relief from removal.
These are some other things to consider
It may be practical to file a Freedom Of Information Act request (FOIA), seeing that the US Government will have access to all of your loved one’s information and will use that against them if need be. The logic is that it is better to know what you adversary knows. It is also practical to file two separate requests as the Govt. can get somewhat tricky and not give you everything from the main office. There is a form I-639,(this can be found at: http://www.uscis.gov/g-639) that you can use. These are the address.
Your loved one may also consider filing a Privacy Waiver (ICE Form 60-001) that authorizes disclosure to a third party. This, in theory, would give access to direct information from the facility and deportation officers more quickly that through a FOIA
If your loved one has had any previous contact with the criminal system, it is also important to get all the documents from those contacts. These would include:
Certificate(s) of Disposition. This will show the outcome(s) of any criminal case(s) that the loved had. These can be gotten from the County Courthouse(s) where the case(s) were held. These are important as they could/will affect the way one able to fight their case in immigration. If the family/support is able, they should also try and get the transcripts (elocutions) of the case(s), for the same reasons mentioned above.
Any probation/parole conditions documents.
Any awards, certificates, references received from programs that your loved one participated in while serving their sentence.