This civil court operates under the jurisdiction of the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). There are 58 courts with approximately 460 immigration judges throughout the United States.

There are 67 immigration courts across the United States and two adjudications centers.

Immigration Court in Detroit is located at 477 Michigan Avenue, Suite 440 Detroit, MI 48226. Within this Court, there are five Immigration Judges:

  • Christopher R. Seppanen
  • Jennifer M. Gorland
  • Mark J. Jebson
  • David H. Paruch
  • Ian R. Simons

What are immigrants’ rights in the immigration court system?

Even undocumented immigrants possess fundamental rights under the U.S. Constitution and the 14th Amendment. It guarantees due process and equal protection to all “persons” in the United States. In other words, no matter whether you are documented or preparing your documentation, or you are born in or out of the United States, it is your right to present your case in courts and to be heard.

Unlike in the criminal court system, if you cannot afford to hire a lawyer, unfortunately, the court will provide you with a free legal representation.

Currently, there are 6,973 immigration cases in courts in Detroit, and the current case backlog is about 700 days, which is around the national average.

What is a Notice to Appear (NTA)?

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issues Notice to Appear (NTA) with EOIR to initiate removal proceedings. Upon receiving this charging document, EOIR decides whether the individual may be deported.

There are three possibilities for receiving a Notice to Appear:

  1. as an “arriving alien” who has been stopped at a port of entry before admittance,
  2. being an immigrant who is already in the U.S. and has not yet been admitted or paroled,
  3. an admitted immigrant who has now been deemed deportable for a reason listed on the NTA.

While the USCIS has always had the authority to issue NTAs, it had traditionally utilized this authority sparingly, usually only when the petitioner had a criminal conviction.

With recently updated policy guidance, immigrants will receive a Notice to Appear and be placed into removal proceedings if they apply for modifications of their visa status, green cards, or naturalization and are denied.

On the other side, it is possible to receive an NTA if they are charged with a crime or any association with the activity that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) considers to be criminal.

Immigration court decisions can be appealed to the BIA. BIA will review the papers and decide on appeals, but in infrequent circumstances, it may invite you to hear oral arguments at their headquarters. These decisions are binding, but there is also a chance that federal courts or the Attorney General overrule them. If you lose your appeal before the BIA, for some matters, you may file a petition for review in the Federal Court of Appeals in your respective circuit where the original case was filed, and you will have to do it within 30 days of the BIA decision.

If you are invited to appear in Immigration Court on a criminal or civil matter, you may find this situation inconvenient to handle on your own. In the Detroit area, there are some prominent law offices established specialized in immigration matters that you can hire to handle your case.

The immigration court system is the entity where immigration judges decide on immigration matters.

Contact your immigration lawyer in Detroit, Michigan should you have any questions and read more information about immigration in Detroit now.

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