A removal proceeding is a legal action brought by the U.S. government to remove someone from the United States. It may either be brought against an individual who has a Green Card or else against someone who is living here without legal documentation. But this type of legal action cannot be brought against a U.S. citizen.
Typically a removal proceeding starts when the government serves you with a legal document called a Notice to Appear. You can see an example of a Notice to Appear reproduced on this web page.
Usually, the government brings a removal action when an immigrant gets in trouble with the police for some other reason, for example, a minor traffic violation or jumping a subway turnstile. When this happens, the police run an identity check to find out if the person has a prior criminal record or has a legal basis to be in the United States. The official policy of the U.S. government is to focus its enforcement efforts on deporting people who pose a danger to the community, so the more trouble you have been in, the greater the chance that you will receive a Notice to Appear.
If you or someone in your family has received a Notice similar to this, it is very important that you speak with a qualified attorney as soon as possible. Call one of our attorneys today if you would like to learn more about how we can help.