What is Deportation?

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The term “deportation” is commonly used to describe the forced removal from the United States of a non-citizen who violates U.S. immigration law or has committed certain types of crimes. If you are a non-citizen who has been placed in deportation proceedings, you may be eligible for various forms of relief from removal. In most cases, you will be able to stay in the United States until your removal is carried out. However, the process can be lengthy, depending on how long it takes for DHS to find a country willing to take you.

A person can be put into deportation proceedings in a number of ways and for a variety of reasons. For example, they can be picked up by immigration officers in the street or at work, arrested after being released from jail, or they can receive a notice of hearing in the mail.

Once in deportation proceedings, the government has to prove that you are deportable. The first hearing in the case is called a Master Calendar Hearing, and the judge will tell you what the official charges are against you. You are allowed to have legal representation at this time at your own expense.

At this hearing, the judge will also decide whether to grant you a stay of removal or not. If the judge grants you a stay, it means that your case will be set aside for now until the next hearing. If not, the judge will issue a removal order against you, and the matter will proceed to the next step.

If the judge finds that you are removable as charged, they will schedule a second hearing to be decided by an immigration judge called an Individual Hearing (or Merits Hearing). At this hearing, the respondent will be able to present evidence and arguments about why they should not be removed. It is very important to have an attorney for this hearing, especially because it is possible that the judge will find in your favor and not deport you.

During the merits hearing, you can also argue that you should not be deported because your removal would cause exceptional hardship to family members who are citizens or permanent residents. In order to make this argument, you will need official documentation of your relationship to these individuals and proof that they would suffer severe hardship if you were not allowed to remain in the United States with them.

Finally, it is very important to know that you have the right to appeal any ruling by the immigration judge at the end of your case. This is one of the most important parts of defending yourself against deportation, and it can be a very difficult process to navigate. Appeals generally must be filed within 30 days of the date by which you were ordered to leave the United States, and filing an appeal will usually stop the deportation until your case is decided.