The Basics of Deportation/Removal

When an alien is placed into removal proceedings the wheels of uncertainty begin to spin. Family members are often left in a state of panic, confusion, depression and financial despair and often don’t know who to turn to for help. Getting information or simply trying to locate an alien who has been taken into custody can become time consuming and frustrating.

I have successfully represented many clients placed in removal proceedings. I only take on cases that I believe have a chance of winning. Generally, my clients are informed at the initial consultation if I can help them with their removal case. Before I agree to represent a client in removal proceedings, I evaluate the client’s case to determine whether immigration relief is available to the client and the chances of getting that relief granted by the immigration judge. I also determine whether the client can be released on bond and whether the case, if located in another city or state can be moved to an immigration court closer to the client’s home.

The Department of Homeland Security can transfer aliens in removal proceedings within Michigan and even out of State. Usually, the government house aliens in leased jail space such as th Calhoun County Jail in Battle Creek, Michigan or the Monroe County Jail in Monroe, Michigan.

If necessary, I  will order a client’s immigration file from the Department of Homeland Security and their criminal histories from the FBI and State Police to assist me in evaluating their removal case.

An alien may be placed into removal proceedings for many reasons. These reasons are referred to as grounds of inadmissibility and grounds of deportability. In many instances, aliens are placed in removal proceeding because of their criminal history and/or illegal status.

For aliens placed into removal proceedings because of a criminal conviction, I determine the effect that a conviction or convictions will have on an alien’s immigration status. In addition, I will explore the possibility of vacating, expunging or reducing a criminal conviction when it is beneficial to the alien’s removal case to do so.

Immigration court proceedings generally consist of a bond hearing and removal hearings. At a Bond hearing, the immigration judge will decide whether the alien should be released on bond while removal proceedings are pending. At the Master Calendar hearing, an alien will admit or deny the allegations in the charging document called the Notice to Appear, concede or deny removability and inform the immigration judge of the immigration relief that the alien will be applying for to avoid being removed from the United States.

At the Merits hearing, (also referred to as the Individual hearing), the immigration judge will make determine if the alien gets to stay in the United States or will have to leave after hearing all the hearing presented by the attorney for the alien and the U.S. government’s attorney. At the hearing, the alien’s attorney will present documents, take testimony on direct examination from the alien, the alien’s family members and any expert witnesses. The government attorney will also be given an opportunity to cross-exam any witnesses presented by the alien’s attorney.

I represent clients at all hearings, including the bond, master and merit’s hearings in Michigan, Ilinois and any other State. Aliens placed in removal proceedings or their family members can contact the The Law Office of Robert F. Mirque, Jr. at (616) 233-9300  or email me at


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