Facing a removal hearing in an immigration court can be very challenging. Having all the relevant supporting documents may not be enough to convince an immigration judge.
Bringing a witness to court to testify for you could help strengthen your case, but it can also have its downsides.
A Credible Witness
Every element of a credible witness is taken into consideration by immigration officials handling your case. Before taking a witness you must prepare him or her. A professional immigration attorney can help you and your witness prepare for battle in the courtroom.
Ensure that your witness is neatly dressed, and will be confident when speaking to the government attorney and immigration judge and that his or her testimony will match the information that is found on your application and will substantiate all other evidence you submitted.
Note that bringing along a witness simply to have someone else speak in your favor will not earn you a favorable final decision.
Individual merit hearings can be longer than normal and both the government lawyer and immigration judge have low tolerance for witnesses who have little to no knowledge of your case. Such witness will be removed from the dock immediately.
With the assistance of an experienced immigration lawyer, your witness will be prepared for any confrontational or opposing questions that an immigration judge could ask.
A witness whose testimony is inconsistent and does not know much about your immigration situation can only add damage to your court case.
Witnesses that can support your claims or any part of your testimony can benefit you during an individual merits hearing.
In a cancellation of removal hearing, an immigration judge will look for proof of your good moral character and will aim to find more reasons to permit you to remain in the United States as opposed to trying to having you deported.
Knowing key people such as high ranking officials or people who serve in your community that are legal permanent residents or U.S. citizens can help boost your immigration matter.
If they are willing to help corroborate that you are of good moral character, do not hesitate in asking them for help.
Any immigrant who has suffered persecution in the past in their home country due to some affiliation to a particular social group and has entered the United States can apply for asylum.
However there is no guarantee that that applicant will obtain this U.S. government benefit. The foreigner must show proof of persecution along with his testimony and the testimony of another witness.
When applying for asylum, a material witness is helpful in substantiating your life story of suffering previous persecution.
If you know someone from your home country who is currently living in the United States of America, who was granted asylum that has suffered persecution, ask for their help to testify. Their testimony will be a valuable element for your asylum application.
You can speak to one of your leaders from the group you have joined in the U.S. If you have become a member of a church, your pastor can attest that you consistently attend his church and that you have disclosed your fear of returning to your home country and that people from your denomination are being persecuted there.
Researchers, professors or a member of a human rights social group, can answer questions about the chaotic conditions of your home country and how people of your social group are being persecuted.
Psychologists or medical experts can testify at your court hearing. They can explain why you are having a hard time recollecting the series of events that you experienced back home.
Suffering torture may cause serious traumatization such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and it can be established that you have scars from past harmful injuries you suffered.
As a medical expert testifies he can prove that the medical standard in your home country is defective and your forcible removal from the U.S. will affect you and or family members you brought with you.
Presenting a Witness in Court
Presenting a witness at an individual hearing is not as easy as you may think. A call up date is issued by an immigration judge at a Master Calendar Hearing and on this date every piece of supporting documentation must be provided to the court. Then after thirty days an individual hearing will initiate.
Also Read : The Events Of A Master Calendar Hearing
Before the call up date is due, a witness list must be submitted to the immigration court and the U.S. government. If a potential witness is uncertain of his or her attendance in court still include their name on the list.
Though the presence of every witness on that list may not be required it is advisable to not go back and fix that list at a later date.
Though you may have a material witness to help you, the assistance of an immigration lawyer is recommendable. Talk to an immigration attorney who can help you and your witness prepare for the long haul in an immigration court.
Contact The Gambacorta Law Office today for an office consultation at 847-443-9303. Our offices are located in Arizona and Illinois. At the Gambacorta Law Office, we fight for you!