A master calendar hearing, or MCH, is the first step in any legal action involving immigration matters. Typically, a MCH is the primary occurrence in an immigrant’s deportation hearing – if the U.S. government is trying to deport you, you’ll get a master calendar hearing.. If you’re an immigrant to the United States who will be attending your own master calendar hearing, here are five things you need to know:
An Interpreter Will Be Provided for You
Going to court for your first master calendar hearing can be intimidating, and even more so if you don’t speak English well. If you don’t speak English well enough to participate in the court procedures, then the court will provide an interpreter for you – it’s the law.
Your Notice to Appear Will Be Read
Your master calendar hearing will begin with the Notice to Appear. A notice to appear is a technical way of saying that the government’s charges against you will be read. The immigration judge presiding over the court will then ask if you if the Notice to Appear charges are accurate.
You Have the Right to Remain Silent
In a courtroom, you may feel as though you have to answer every question asked of you, and as though you must agree with the government’s decision to deport you. However, neither are true – you have the right to remain silent and refrain from answering questions about your immigration status.During your master calendar hearing, the judge will also inform you of your right to an attorney at your own expense. If you don’t already have an attorney, you should seek one immediately.
Your Hearing Date Will Be Set
As explained above, the master calendar hearing is a type of preliminary hearing, or the first hearing in a sequence of many, potentially. During the master calendar hearing, the date of your next hearing will be set. During your hearing, you can bring witnesses and present other evidence to substantiate your right to remain in the United States.
You Need a Boston Immigration Attorney to Represent You
Without legal representation from a Boston immigration attorney, you’re increasing your risk of being deported. An attorney can help you to understand that master calendar hearing process, your right to remain silent, and how to choose key witnesses and present the right type of evidence to prove why you should be allowed to remain within the U.S.
At Goldstein Immigration Lawyers we’re ready to go to work for you today. Call us for a consultation at (617) 722-0005.