A merit hearing is similar to a trial held in immigration court, and it is where immigrants facing deportation can present their argument for remaining in the United States.
Immigrants have the ability to testify on their own behalf, making arguments and presenting evidence to support their claim for immigration relief or asylum. With the following tips, you can improve your chances of victory.
1. Always tell the truth
Never try to fool the court with a lie or half-truth. Only speak what is true.
2. Remain calm
You may encounter an attorney who is aggressive and rude. Remain calm and keep your temper. Do not debate, argue or raise your voice to prove your side.
3. Be yourself
Be professional but personal, showing the court your normal self. Do not try to fool them into thinking your personality, mannerisms or way of speaking is something other than who you are.
4. Make sure you know the questions
Do not get intimidated by the DHS attorney and rush to answer a question. If you need the question explained, ask the lawyer to repeat it. Give a short but truthful answer. If you do not know the answer, a simple “I do not know” is a good response.
5. Avoid giving extra information
You should only give the attorney the information they are asking for. You do not need to give extra details or share additional stories about your life.
These tips can give you more confidence when it is time for your merit hearing. They can also help advance your case toward favorable results.