There are many ways for an individual to end up in Immigration Court. This blog will explore just a few common ways in which an “alien” can find oneself in Immigration Court and practical information about the Immigration Court in New York City.
1. Immigration Court referral from Asylum Application: One way in which you may be sent to the Immigration Court is if you filed for asylum. If the asylum office does not approve your asylum application and you are out of status, typically the asylum office will provide you with a “Notice to Appear” requiring you to appear in Immigration Court. You may then continue with your asylum application with an Immigration Judge.
2. Green Card (“Adjustment of Status”) application is denied: Another way that you may be sent to the Immigration Court is if an application for a green card or adjustment of status (as it is also called) is denied. This is very common with a marriage case in which Immigration (“DHS”) denies the green card application based on marriage. When Immigration (“DHS”) denies these types of cases, they commonly serve a “Notice to Appear” commanding you to appear in Immigration Court.
3. Arrest or Detention by Immigration & Customs Enforcement (“ICE”): A third way could be through an arrest or detention by Immigration (I.C.E.). In many cases, Immigration may arrest or detain an individual because he or she may be out of status. In these types of cases, the individual is processed by Immigration and may either be released without bond, released by posting bond with Immigration or sent to the Immigration Court for a bond re-determination. Then, the cases will usually end up with the Immigration Court through the service of a “Notice to Appear”.
4. Where is the Immigration Court in New York City?: The Immigration Court in New York City is located at 26 Federal Plaza, New York, NY 10278, which is in downtown Manhattan. The Immigration Court is situated on the 12th Floor, Room 1237. However, Courtrooms are located both on the 12th Floor and the 14th Floor.
5. How do I know which Courtroom or Judge my Case is assigned to?: On the 12th Floor, there is a master list of all names and cases scheduled for that day. Look up your name and you will see who the assigned Immigration Judge is. Once you know who the Judge is, you will be able to tell which courtroom you need to go to. If you don’t see your name, ask the clerk at the window located in Room 1237.
6. Do I need a lawyer for Immigration Court in Federal Plaza, New York City?: No and Yes. What do I mean? You are not required to have a lawyer, but in my professional opinion, you will unlikely be able to represent yourself effectively without an experienced Immigration Lawyer who appears regularly in Immigration Court in Federal Plaza. Immigration law is very complicated and confusing and you should be represented by someone who not only is experienced in immigration law, but also by someone who knows the local procedure there.