Notice to Appear – What’s the Big Deal?
The United States government initiates removal proceedings through a Notice to Appear (“NTA”). The Immigration and Nationality Act governs what the NTA must contain in Section 239 of the Act. The NTA is what alerts someone of the charges the government is bringing against them. All NTAs must state the nature of the proceedings, meaning what conduct the government is alleging that gives them the authority to remove them from the United States. The NTA must also state the legal authority governing the proceedings. This means the government must point to specific sections of the law that describe how the person has violated the immigration laws of the United States.
It is important to note that the NTA must also state the date, time, and place of the hearing. The Supreme Court of the United States ruled that an NTA must give the person enough notice to understand when and where they must appear for their immigration proceedings. Typically, this information is contained at the bottom of the document and states that a person is ordered to appear at a particular location to defend themselves against the allegations of the government. The Board of Immigration Appeals has ruled that the government can cure an NTA that fails to state when and where the alien must appear by serving a subsequent notice on the alien that contains information about when and where the alien is ordered to appear. This area of the law is evolving, and many courts are issuing opinions surrounding it, so it is vital to speak with a lawyer about your NTA to ensure it complies with the law.
The NTA is a charging document that is extremely important to the government’s attempt to remove a person from the United States. Courts have ruled they must comply with specific minimal standards to be effective. By contacting Chhabra & Gibbs, P.A., we can obtain your NTA from the government or review it if it has already been served on you or your loved one. We have appeared at immigration courts across the United States and successfully argued against deficient NTAs in front of immigration judges. We urge you to contact Chhabra & Gibbs, P.A., Immigration Team by calling 601-927-8430 or 601-948-8005 or by using our live chat, so that we can help you and your family understand this confusing process.