Deportation is the process of taking a person out of a country because they violated an immigration law or were deemed to be a threat to public safety. The process is not always straightforward, and can cause serious consequences for an individual’s life.
When ICE formally accuses an illegal alien of being removable from the United States, they are placed into “removal proceedings.” These can be initiated for many reasons, including violating a visa or other status, having committed a crime or showing up to the U.S. without the proper documents or having forged them.
The first step is to notify the person in question of the start of removal proceedings, often by sending a notice of removal. The notice contains information about why the deportation process is being initiated and gives them the option to request a hearing or to file a motion to stop the proceedings.
Once the person is served with this notice of removal, they have 30 days to appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals. If they don’t appeal, the decision will be final, and the individual will be removed from the United States.
If the person does appeal to the BIA, it can take months for the case to reach a resolution. During this time, the person will be incarcerated at a federal prison or other location.
During the appeals process, a non-citizen can ask for “relief from removal.” This may involve an individual’s ability to remain in the United States, such as an individual’s right to a green card. They can also ask for a delay of their deportation, and they can seek other forms of relief, such as asylum or refugee protection.
A merits hearing will be held at which an illegal alien can present their arguments for a defense against deportation (known as “relief”). The judge will hear both sides of the story and decide whether the illegal alien should be granted relief from removal.
The illegal alien has the right to be accompanied by an attorney during this process. Having an attorney can make the process go more smoothly, as they can ensure that the individual is provided with accurate information about their rights and the immigration laws in effect.
After the judge has made their decision, they will issue a removal order. The individual then has 30 days to appeal the decision to the BIA or to a federal circuit court of appeals. If the decision is negative, the case can be heard again by a different judge or by the Supreme Court.
When the case is resolved, a person will receive a bag and baggage letter which will indicate a date and place where they should report for travel out of the country. Once the deportation is ordered, it will take some time for the government to arrange transportation and transport the individual out of the United States.
The economic effects of deportation are significant and include the loss of a person’s income, which can affect their families and their housing market. Research has found that deportation has a substantial impact on home foreclosure rates in Latino communities.