What is Deportation?

Deportation (or removal) is the civil process where an alien is forcibly returned to their country of origin. Both children and adults can be removed. This is done by an immigration judge issuing a removal order. Fortunately, in the United States, you do have certain rights that may enable you to fight a removal order.

How does the Removal Process work?

You will receive a Notice to Appear before an immigration judge. This Notice will tell you:

  • the nature of the proceedings
  • the alleged grounds for removal
  • of your right to hire an attorney and
  • the consequences of failing to appear at scheduled hearings.

At the hearing, there is essentially a two-part analysis. The government must first prove that there is a legal basis for removing you from the country. If you are removable, the second step is to determine if there is anything that entitles you to relief from removal. You may be entitled to relief if you have an asylum claim, if you have a spouse or relative who can sponsor you for lawful permanent resident status, or if you qualify for “cancellation of removal.”

Depending on the situation, the deportation process can take many months or happen so quickly that families do not find out until afterward. It is also possible that you will be detained during the entire removal process. However, if you are initially detained, you may still be eligible for an immigration bond. An immigration bond will allow you to remain free during the removal process.

Always remember that if you are not detained but later fail to attend any hearing, an automatic removal order will probably be issued against you. The consequences of such an order are severe, and you could not return to the U.S., with any sort of visa, for ten years.

Fighting Removal

Depending on your specific situation, we will help you avoid removal by:

  • obtaining a cancellation of the removal;
  • seeking an adjustment of status;
  • requesting prosecutorial discretion;
  • requesting deferred action or
  • requesting asylum.

If there is a legal basis for challenging your removal, we will work with you to present your best case at a merits hearing. We will also meet with you and your witnesses to ensure everyone is fully prepared for any hearing.

Voluntary Removal

If you do not have a legal defense to removal, we will work with you to negotiate a “Voluntary Removal.” With a Voluntary Removal, you admit that you do not have a legal right to remain in the U.S. and agree to depart on your own.

Appealing a Removal Order

Depending on your circumstances, you may have a legal basis for appealing an adverse deportation ruling. For example, if your removal is based on the allegation that you committed a crime, you may be able to appeal to prove that you are innocent of the crime charged.

Locating a Person Held for an Immigration Violation

You can locate someone currently detained for possible violation of immigration laws or who was released within the last 60 days by using the  Online Detainee Locator System or by contacting one of the field offices of the Office of Enforcement and Removal Operations.

Consult With Our Team

There are many different ways that people come to the attention of the immigration authorities — a phone tip, a workplace raid, a check on your immigration status while in jail, or a failed application for asylum or a green card. Regardless, if you or a close friend or family member is detained, you must hire an experienced immigration attorney.

To discuss how one of our lawyers can assist you with your immigration matter, contact us online or call 601-957-3101.