How Deportation Affects Communities

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Deportation is the expulsion of a foreign national from a country where he or she is currently living. This is a legal process governed by the United States immigration laws and can occur for a variety of reasons including criminal convictions, failure to maintain citizenship status, or other serious violations of the law. Deportation can have devastating consequences for the individuals who are removed and their families. In addition, it can also have broader social and economic effects for entire communities.

Deported people and their family members often struggle to survive without the support systems they have built in the United States. Many face the threat of poverty, isolation, abuse, and even death once they are removed from their homes. These challenges are often exacerbated for people with children who may be left behind. According to the Society for Community Research and Action, there are multiple ways that communities respond to deportation and its threats. This policy brief reviews the existing empirical literature on the impacts of deportation and highlights examples of these responses.

How long it takes to get deported depends on whether or not you are detained and which Immigration Court you attend. Those who are detained are often on expedited dockets and have their cases heard more quickly.

If you are not detained, your case might not be heard as quickly because the current administration is urging Immigration Judges to complete cases as soon as possible. It might take 3-6 months for your first hearing, called a master calendar hearing, to happen. At this hearing, you and the government will discuss whether the charges against you in your Notice to Appear are true and if you have any eligibility for relief from removal.

The judge will then make a decision at the end of the hearing or at a later time. If the judge decides that you should be deported, he or she will issue an order of removal. This can be appealed, but only for a limited amount of time after the judge issues the order of removal.

If you are able to prove that there is an error in the judge’s decision, you can apply for readmission into the country or request a review of the ruling by the Board of Immigration Appeals. You can also file an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, which is located in San Francisco. It is also possible to leave the United States voluntarily and without an order of removal, a procedure known as voluntary departure. This is an option that you can explore with a nonprofit legal organization. Depending on your situation, it might be better to try and find legal help before you are ordered deported. This can save you the cost and anxiety of having to appeal your decision. You can also contact a migrant services provider to see if they can help. They can help you find a legal team and provide information on local resources for support while you are in deportation proceedings or after you have been removed.