What is Deportation?

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Deportation is the removal or expulsion of a person from a country. In the United States, it is the process of removing someone who does not have citizenship in the United States from the country. Deportation can be the result of criminal activity, immigration violations or civil infractions.

In the US, a deportation order can be issued by an immigration judge or an immigration agency, such as ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement). Deportation can also be the result of a criminal conviction. Criminal convictions can include a wide range of crimes, including homicide, drugs, burglary, weapons charges and many others.

The process of deportation is complex and can take many months or even years. It usually begins when a person is arrested by ICE and referred to a deportation or removal proceeding. The person will be detained, and ICE will decide whether to release the person on bond or whether to detain them in an immigration detention center or another contracted prison facility. A person who is detained has the right to appeal the decision to a Federal Immigration Court, which will review the case and determine whether or not the government meets its burden of proving that the person is removable.

When someone is deported, they are sent back to their country of origin. In some cases, a person who is deported can return to the United States in the future through a process known as cancellation of removal or adjustment of status. However, in other cases, the individual may be subject to deportation permanently because of a crime or other grounds.

The most common reasons for deportation are illegal entry or re-entry, committing a crime of “moral turpitude” or engaging in smuggling activities. In the case of illegal entry or re-entry, the government has to prove that the person entered or attempted to enter the United States without proper documentation and that they did not go through a port of entry.

Other grounds for deportation include committing a crime of moral turpitude, such as domestic violence or robbery, participating in smuggling activities or threatening national security. The government also has the power to deport people who have been convicted of certain types of crimes, such as murder or drug trafficking offenses, or who have engaged in fraud or money laundering activities.

The consequences of deportation can be severe, especially for children. A Marshall Project analysis with the Center for Migration Studies found that about 6.1 million American citizen children live in households with at least one undocumented family member who could be vulnerable to deportation. The loss of these parents has significant physical, emotional, and developmental repercussions for these families, as well as for the entire community. In addition, the impending threat of deportation has already caused many children to suffer from psychological and emotional problems. Deportations are a human rights violation that undermine the basic dignity of all people. Moreover, they often cause lasting harms to communities and nations.