Fitchburg, MA asked in Immigration Law for Florida

Q: My cousin is at Broward detention center. He doesnt have papers, and he has his first hearing this coming Monday 13th.

He doesnt have a lawyer ( I learn from another question in your website, that he doesn't have the right for a free one), but I wonder if in that first hearing he should have one already, or he can ask the Judge for more time to get one? Im not sure what that first hearing is for. He came to this Country 22 years ago and overstayed his visa. He was stopped in January with not driver license and that was all. What should be next. I ive in Massachusetts and I don't know how to help him. Thank you.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Gunda Yohanna Brost
Gunda Yohanna Brost
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Cedar Falls, IA

A: You should definitely get him a skilled immigration lawyer. You can see if any non profits in your area do removal work but you will likely have to take out a loan or something to pay a private one as most non profits are over capacity and/or don’t handle removal work. If this is his first master hearing he can likely request more time from the judge.

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: At your cousin's first hearing, which is called a Master Calendar Hearing, he will be asked to enter a plea to the charges against him and to provide the court with his contact information. The judge will also inform him of his right to an attorney and ask if he would like to proceed with his case without an attorney.

While your cousin does not have the right to a court-appointed attorney in immigration proceedings, he still has the right to be represented by an attorney of his choosing. He can ask the judge for more time to find an attorney, or he can choose to proceed without an attorney at the Master Calendar Hearing. However, it's recommended that he seek legal representation as soon as possible to ensure that his rights are protected and to maximize his chances of success in his immigration case.

If your cousin has been placed in removal proceedings, he will have the opportunity to apply for relief from removal, such as cancellation of removal or asylum, depending on the specific circumstances of his case. The availability of relief will depend on a variety of factors, including his length of stay in the U.S., his criminal history, and the strength of his ties to the U.S.

It's recommended that you and your cousin consult with an experienced immigration attorney as soon as possible to understand his legal options and to ensure that his rights are protected throughout the immigration process. An attorney can help him navigate the complex immigration system and represent him in court to maximize his chances of success.

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