The Deportation Process

The deportation process is initiated generally by the Department of Homeland Security featuring what used to be called an “Order to Show Cause”, but it is now called a Notice to Appear (NTA). The NTA will state that the person is required to appear in Immigration Court and why he or she is being alleged to be deportable.

In the NTA, it lists the allegations on which the deportation is based upon. For example, it may say that you are from a certain country, that you entered the U.S. on this date under this status, subsequently on this date you are convicted of a certain crime, etc. The NTA will also provide the statutory grounds of removal or inadmissibility. The NTA is served generally in person on the foreign national. But it can also be served by mail.

What are the consequences of being deported?

Once successfully deported, you will now be required to leave the U.S. within a certain time frame.

Even if you are otherwise eligible to come back to the U.S. in a different manner, if you do not comply with the requirements of your deportation, you may be barred from future immigration applications.

The main consequence of being deported by an Immigration Judge is that after you have left the U.S., you are required to remain outside the U.S. for 10 years. Of course, it depends on how you are deported. Deportation can occur at the border, through what is called expedited removal, or at an Immigration Court. If you are deported by “expedited removal”, you may not be allowed to return for 5 years. But depending on the circumstances of your deportation, an expedited removal can be increased to a 20 year bar.

This is why an experienced immigration lawyer will strategize with the client and educate him or her on the consequences of deportation. Often, it is better to find a different application of relief rather than going through the actual deportation process. For example, if you do not have a great case, it may be in your interest to request Voluntary Removal or Voluntary Departure, which requires you to still leave the U.S. but not under a “deportation” order.

The difference between voluntary departing the U.S. and a deportation order sometimes rests on whether you can successfully petition the U.S. for permission to reenter the U.S. through the I-212 process. But this is only one form of “waiver” needed. Many persons who are deported or seek voluntary departure may still need to deal with the unlawful presence bar, which requires an extreme hardship application waiver, or other issues.

The deportation court process

The first hearing is often called a “preliminary court hearing” or “master calendar hearings”. Sometimes there may be a bond hearing that occurs first or after the master calendar hearing if the person is being detained. After the master calendar hearing, then a case goes to a trial. This “trial” is called a “regular calendar” or “individual calendar” hearing, where there is an actual adjudication of an application for relief or a finding that somebody is removable.

Can you appeal a removal order?

Yes, removal orders can be appealed initially. The person can make the motion to reopen or reconsider their removal order to the immigration judge. If that is unsuccessful, she or he can file an appeal or motion to the Board Immigration Appeals (BIA) which is located in Falls Church, Virginia. If the removal order is upheld by the BIA, the noncitizen may seek a petition for review at a U.S. Court of Appeal. For example, San Francisco is under the jurisdiction of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Learn more about the immigration services provided by Philip Levin & Associates.