Deportation, the process of removing someone from the United States, is a serious and often life-changing event. It can affect your ability to work, study, and live in the country.
Deported immigrants may not be able to reapply for lawful status, such as a green card, for several years or even ever. This can have severe consequences for family members in the United States.
If you are facing removal, it is important to consult an experienced immigration attorney as soon as possible. Depending on the situation, you could be eligible to file for relief that can prevent you from being removed.
The most common grounds for deportation are entering without permission or overstaying your visa. Other reasons include criminal activity and failure to report a change of address.
When you are arrested, ICE can decide to place you in removal proceedings, which will require a hearing before an immigration judge and the involvement of other agencies. In some cases, ICE can even detain you in a secure jail until the case is resolved.
Some detainees can be released on bond pending appeal or other court proceedings. Others may be deported to their home countries, sometimes on commercial flights.
In most cases, the first step is to be encountered at a border by an agent from Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Then CBP determines whether you should be deported and takes final steps to arrange it.
Depending on your situation, you may be referred to a removal proceeding before the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). At this point, a judge will hear your case and decide if you should be deported or allowed to stay in the United States.
If you want to appeal, you need to file your appeal with the Board of Immigration Appeals before the time limit the judge sets. If you don’t, the judge will order your deportation.
You will also need to present evidence that shows why DHS wrongly accused you of being removable; for example, if the nature of your conviction was not as serious as it was alleged. You can use this to fight your deportation and establish a right to remain in the U.S.
Another way to avoid being deported is to file for withholding of removal, which can be a more effective form of relief. Your lawyer will have to prove that your life or liberty in your home country would be threatened if you were returned.
It is a complex process and it takes a lot of legal know-how and experience to prepare your case. Ultimately, it is essential to speak with an immigration lawyer as soon as possible and begin preparing for your hearing.
When your case goes to the EOIR, you will be assigned an immigration judge and will have the opportunity to present evidence and argue your case for or against removal. It can take a long time to prepare for this hearing, so it is best to consult with an immigration lawyer as early as possible.