Although noncitizen in removal proceedings lack the full constitutional protections of criminal defendants or the broad discovered tools of civil litigants in Federal Court, the Immigration and Nationality Act and accompanying regulations provide a number of protections related to evidence. Aliens have an explicit statutory right to present evidence and cross-examine adverse witnesses. Evidence is not always easy to obtain, but aliens may need the resources of the court to exercise this right or to help meet their burdens of proof and production.
Immigration Judges may issue subpoenas for the attendance of witnesses or the production of documents during the removal proceedings. Immigration Judges may also order depositions taken for the testimony of essential witnesses who are not reasonable available for the hearing.
Subpoenas can be a useful tool in Immigration Court to build the record and ensure that the parties have a full opportunity to present their case and cross-examine witnesses.