St. Louis Immigration Attorney Jim Hacking Explains the Notice to Appear

St. Louis Immigration Attorney Jim Hacking Explains the Notice to Appear

The service of a notice to appear begins the deportation process.

This video explains what to do when you receive a notice to appear, its legal effect and the process that you may experience after receiving a notice to appear.  The notice to appear is a written document which lists the reasons why Immigration and Customes Enforcement believes that you should be deported.

Watch this video to learn about your rights and what you need to know if deportation proceedings against you begin.


What is a notice to appear and what do I have to do when I receive one? Hi. I’m Jim Hacking, Immigration Attorney here in St. Louis, Missouri, and today, we’re talking about the notice to appear. The notice to appear is a document that you receive from ICE, Immigration Customs Enforcement, and it directs you to appear for an immigration court hearing at some future date. These can be served by mail or you can be served them personally by an ICE officer.

They can also be served on your attorney if ICE has your attorney of record on file, and basically in the notice to appear, it lists certain allegations that the government claims serve as a basis for you to be put into deportation proceedings, and typically it’ll say things like, what citizen you’re a country of, that you’re not a US citizen, and that you don’t have lawful status in the United States. It’ll explain when you entered the country, and then it will list why ICE thinks that you should be deported. It might have more than one reason listed, and following that will be the statutory violations that ICE believes that you have had and that serve as the basis for your deportation.

One thing to keep in mind is that ICE will put you into deportation proceedings by serving you this notice to appear even if there’s a legal way for you to get out of it. Don’t forget that, Immigration and Customs Enforcement is deporting people at a record pace. They’ve been given quotas by their supervisors to meet each quarter and each year. There have been more people deported under President Obama than under any other president before, so these notices to appear are going out fast and furious. They deported almost three hundred and eighty thousand people last year, and there’s no indication that that’s going to abate.

So, when you receive the notice to appear, it’s important that you take it to an immigration attorney as soon as possible. Deportation is obviously something serious, something that you don’t want to handle on your own. If you’re in deportation jail, which some people are subject to what’s called mandatory detention, I would say you’re going to have to need a loved one to go and meet with an attorney for you, but the law says that after you receive the notice to appear, that within ten days you have the right to appear before an immigration judge to have a bond hearing to determine whether or not you should be released on bond, and if so, what the conditions of that bond may be.

At some future date after that, when you have your court date, you’re going to have to answer each of the allegations listed in the notice to appear. So, the judge will ask you or your attorney, “How do you respond to allegation number one, allegation number two,” and you just go down the line. Your immigration attorney will also be able to list the reasons why he or she thinks that you should be able to stay in the country despite the allegations made by the Immigration Customs Enforcement.

So, notice to appear, a very important document. Not something to be taken lightly. You don’t want to lose it. You want to keep it in a safe place and bring it to an attorney as quickly as possible because when you receive this notice to appear, the clock starts ticking on you being in the United States, and if you don’t take action, you’re really going to be prejudiced and you’re really going to be putting yourself at risk for deportation. Obviously you can’t ignore this thing. You’ve got to take it seriously. If you have any questions about a notice to appear, or if you want to talk about deportation of you or someone that you care about, give us a call. 314-961-8200. We’d be happy to discuss it with you, or you can shoot me an email, [email protected] Thanks a lot.