How to Avoid the Process of Deportation

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Deportation is a process that the government uses to remove aliens from the United States for violating immigration law. It can happen to a wide range of people, including both legal and illegal immigrants. In fact, about half of all undocumented immigrants are deported each year.

The deportation process involves four steps: removal proceedings, hearings, removal orders and appeals. It is a complex and confusing procedure, but it can be avoided by using the right resources at the right time.

Getting Started

The first step in the deportation process is for you to report to a local detention facility, or ICE office, if you are being targeted by ICE. ICE will then put you on notice to appear at an Immigration Court for a removal hearing. If you do not appear, a deportation order can be issued against you, and you will be arrested and detained.

If you have a lawyer, you can ask to meet with them before the removal hearing or during the hearing itself to discuss your case and possible relief from deportation, such as withholding of removal, asylum, or Convention Against Torture. This may help you avoid a negative decision in your case, or at least delay a final removal order until the end of the allotted appeal period.

Whether you get a bond or not

If your deportation hearing goes well, you may be able to obtain bond from the immigration judge. The amount of bond that you are granted depends on your individual circumstances, and ICE can either agree with your eligibility for bond or argue that you are a flight risk or a danger to the community. If the judge does not grant you bond, you will remain incarcerated until your hearings are completed or a new bond amount is approved.

A Master Calendar Hearing

If the judge grants your bond, you will be scheduled for a master calendar hearing to discuss your case with the immigration judge and ICE attorney. This is usually the first time you have a chance to present your case and explain why you should not be deported.

You will also be able to ask for more than one master calendar hearing. If your case is rejected, you will be notified by mail and must appeal the decision to a Board of Immigration Appeals judge. Appeals can take months and individuals can still be incarcerated during the appeal.

Having a prior removal order

If an individual has had a previous removal order, he or she is likely to be deported immediately. This is because ICE has established that it prioritizes removing illegal aliens with a criminal background.

Having a credible fear of persecution

Many immigrants have a fear of returning to their home country because of the threat of persecution, including because they may face torture or death if returned. In these cases, they have a legitimate basis to request protection under the Convention Against Torture or withholding of removal before an immigration judge.