Are You Facing Deportation?

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If you’re facing deportation, working with a skilled and caring immigration attorney is your best option. Deportation (also known as removal proceedings) is a process overseen by an immigration judge that can – and often does – result in your being ordered to leave the United States. Deportation can be based on various grounds, including violating the terms of your visa status, being inadmissible upon your initial entry to the country or after you adjusted your status, committing certain crimes, or being deemed a threat to national security.

When people are deported, they’re sent back to their countries of origin – often to places with high rates of crime, poverty, and instability. Many people who are deported experience severe harm upon their return, such as violence, abuse, torture, rape and even death. A database kept by researchers at the Global Migration Project records thousands of cases where immigrants have been deported and subsequently died or suffered harm in their home countries.

Deportation can be carried out in several ways, including through a targeted enforcement operation aimed at particular communities, or through administrative returns, which are easier and cheaper to execute. In the latter case, the government sends people who’ve been in the country without legal status for years to countries where they can’t expect to live well or be welcomed – often, Mexico and Central America. This approach has been used by both the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations amid high arrivals at the border.

In recent months, President Trump has vowed to deport millions more people than his predecessors. The administration’s efforts are already resulting in more people being sent back to their countries of origin. This is largely due to an expansion of a controversial practice known as expedited removal, which denies people their usual hearings and opportunity to seek relief from deportation.

The Supreme Court hasn’t yet ruled on this issue, but a number of the justices have raised concerns about its legality. The justices will need to consider whether the government’s interests in deporting people outweigh their individual interests and those of their families.

To do that, they’ll need to weigh two important desiderata – necessity and proportionality. Necessity refers to the overall purpose of the deportation effort – is it sufficiently important that the harms it inflicts are permissible? And at the level of enforcement, are the actual means employed sufficiently necessary to achieve that end? Ideally, a comprehensive framework for evaluating the necessity and proportionality of harm-inflicting measures will help to negotiate these questions in an equitable and just way. In the meantime, we can’t stop fighting for the rights of all individuals facing deportation and other forms of immigration enforcement. We’re working to raise awareness about these issues, and we need your support. If you’d like to learn more about how to join our fight, please contact us. Your contributions are tax-deductible.