What is Deportation?

posted in: News | 0

Deportation is the expulsion by executive agency of a foreign national from a country whose presence in that country is deemed unlawful or detrimental. It has had a variety of historical meanings including exile, banishment, and transportation of criminals to penal settlements. Today, deportation refers to the process by which the federal government removes a non-citizen from the United States based on their immigration status and criminal conviction history or other grounds. The removal process is overseen by an immigration judge and often ends with a decision to deport the non-citizen. Deportation is a very serious consequence because once someone is removed from the U.S., it will be very difficult (if not impossible) for them to return for many years or ever. For this reason, it is very important that if you are facing the prospect of deportation you seek help from a specialized attorney.

Most deportation cases are heard in a civil immigration court, rather than a criminal court. This means that the majority of individuals in deportation proceedings are not facing criminal charges, but instead have a case against them because of their lack of lawful immigration status or violations of other civil immigration laws like overstaying a visa or entering the U.S. without a proper visa or inspection. Criminal convictions can lead to deportation as well, but they are much less common than other reasons for deportation.

The deportation process begins when an immigration official issues a notice to the individual to attend a hearing with a judge. This is an opportunity for the individual to present evidence about their situation and their legal position. Typically, the judge will determine whether they should be deported based on the evidence presented at this hearing.

If the judge decides to deport an individual, they will have an opportunity to appeal the decision with the Board of Immigration Appeals or even the Federal Courts. If all appeals are exhausted and there is no other relief available, the person will be physically deported from the United States. The person may be able to leave on their own, but more commonly they will receive a “bag and baggage” letter from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) telling them when and where to show up for transport.

Deportation can be a devastating consequence for family members, especially if the deportee is a spouse or child of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. It is for this reason that most people in deportation proceedings work with an experienced immigration lawyer to prepare a strong defense to the government’s claims that they should be removed.

If you are in deportation proceedings, you have a right to a fair and full hearing with a knowledgeable attorney. Contact us to discuss your situation and learn more about how we can help you with the deportation process. We have offices in Denver, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. We represent clients all over the United States and internationally.