REMOVAL from the United States     
Cancellation of Removal
Voluntary Departure
Pro Bono Assistance

What do you do if you find yourself, or your family member,/ friend in removal proceedings?  If you have been stopped by immigration officers either at the border entering the country or after you have already arrived, you may be in removal proceedings. This was formerly called deportation. If you find yourself faced with a Notice to report for a hearing in front of an immigration judge, or you have a friend or relative being held by INS, you should consult immediately with our office to learn of your rights and remedies available in such a process.

There may be bonds available which will enable you to be released from detention awaiting the hearing before the judge. For some reason, the INS or the Border Patrol has determined that you should be removed from the United States. This reason could be not having the proper documents to enter the country or you may have overstayed a valid visa such as a visitor's visa or student visa. Or you may have worked when you were not supposed to work. Most often, you have gotten in trouble with the law and were convicted of a crime. Our office is experienced in dealing with this complex issues and can assist you through this difficult and ever-changing process.

In many cases, even if you have a green card, the INS can and will remove a person no matter if you have a home here, a spouse or children, or a business. There are some opportunities for relief from removal, but nearly all require the skill and expertise of an attorney who deals in this highly specialized area of immigration.

Don't be fooled by consultants who promise that if you have lived here more than 10 years, you can automatically get a green card. This is a common promise now being made, but has very serious consequences. It may not be true. The cases are complex and because of new laws, very difficult to win. Many immigration attorneys do not practice in this area so it is advisable that you contact our office to determine if you have a legitimate case before spending thousands of dollars for no relief. An  immigrant consultant who is not an attorney can NOT represent you in immigration court, no matter what promises are made. Ms. Terry will give you an honest and thorough analysis of your problem possibly saving you thousands of dollars.   Back to Top


There are many ways an alien ends up "in removal proceedings":  an officer refers the alien during an interview or visit to the Immigration Office, an immigration hold is put on an imprisoned alien who is then taken into custody upon release from jail/prison, the alien is taken into custody as the result of a raid by Immigration Customs and Enforcement officers, someone reports the alien as illegal which may start an investigation.  In all cases, the alien is served with a Notice To Appear (NTA) which is then served on the immigration court (EOIR).

The court will schedule a Master Calendar Hearing where the Immigration Judge (IJ) will hear the charges against the alien and ask for the alien's plea (response to the charges.)  If there is no Relief available, the judge will order the alien "removed".  If there is Relief, in some cases the alien can post a bond and be released on his own recognizance to appear at a later hearing called the Merits' Hearing.  At the Merits, the judge will hear evidence and testimony from the alien and the Immigration attorney as to why the alien qualifies for relief.  Some forms of relief require that forms be feed in and filed prior to the Merits Hearing and the IJ's have different individual preferences as to when and how these forms need be filed. It is best to contact the individual court before proceedings with the forms to ensure that you follow the appropriate procedure.

THIS SITE is STILL UNDER CONSTRUCTION and will be updated in the near future.

For a full analysis of your particular case, visit our Contact Us  page or request an Consultation.    Back to Top


Since April of 2000, the Pro Bono Program of the Executive Office of Immigration Review has worked to improve access to legal advice and counseling and increase rates of representation for immigrants appearing before the Immigration Courts and Board of Immigration Appeals. This has been carried out primarily through initiatives which facilitate access to information and create new incentives for attorneys and law students to take on pro bono cases. Unfortunately, there are not many opportunities for free services available to the alien because of the lengthy time involved and the sophistication of the law which continues to change constantly.

To find the opportunities in your area, Click here for a list of pro bono (free) legal services.   Back to Top