The Merits Hearing (also called the Individual Hearing) is typically the most important hearing in a deportation case. At the Merits Hearing, you will get the opportunity to present arguments before an immigration judge and defend against deportation.
The judge will review evidence you submitted in preparation of the hearing and allow the government attorney to ask you questions about your case. You also have the opportunity to explain your case from your viewpoint and you may even bring witnesses, such as family and friends who can provide important information and lend context to your life in the United States.
At the end of the hearing, the judge will make a final decision on whether you should be allowed to remain in the United States or be deported to your designated country. If you disagree with the decision, you will be allowed to appeal the decision by filing an appeal within 30 days to the Board of Immigration Appeals.