What is Deportation?

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Deportation is the expulsion of a person from a territory. It can be carried out by a government, military force, or private citizens. It can also be a result of political turmoil or natural disasters.

In the United States, immigration officials use deportation to remove people from the country if they are not citizens. Deportation is a complex process that involves several steps. In the beginning, the government will send the noncitizen a notice called a “Notice to Appear.” Then an immigration judge will hold a hearing known as the master calendar hearing. At this hearing, the judge will decide if they have the legal right to remain in the country.

A noncitizen can be removed if they do not have a valid visa, have committed certain criminal offenses, or violated immigration law. They can also be removed if they have a history of domestic violence or other serious crimes that could affect their community or nation’s security.

The government must follow strict rules when removing someone from the country. The noncitizen must be given a fair trial with the opportunity to present evidence. This is true whether the case is at the beginning of the removal process or in the middle. If the judge finds that the noncitizen does not have a right to remain, they will order that they be deported.

Many people face deportation because of mistakes made during the application for a visa or because of activities that go against immigration law. Some immigrants’ family members have even been deported because of their own actions. Others, like Alfredo Ramos, who was deported to Mexico, have died because of the dangerous, turbulent environments they returned to (Stillman, 2018).

Local efforts should focus on supporting mental health/healing and building community for those affected by deportation and their families. Programmatic efforts should also be intentional with supporting economic empowerment and fostering hope.

The Trump administration is accelerating the deportation of millions of noncitizens by scapegoating them as violent criminals and ignoring their actual criminal histories. Those who are deported face the risk of returning to countries where they may be at risk for kidnapping, torture, rape, and murder.

In addition to increasing deportations, the federal government has reinterpreted immigration law and implemented policies that make it easier for ICE to remove people from the country. Many of these new policies are affecting people who have lived here for decades, had no prior convictions, and were working in the economy to support their children.

It is important for all Americans to understand how the deportation process works and to be aware of how it has changed under the current presidential administration. These changes have not been based on facts or due to a rigorous legal process, but rather on the president’s misguided beliefs about who belongs in our country and how the government should treat its immigrant population. The result has been devastating to many American families and a massive waste of public resources.