US Immigration News

How the US Deportation Process Works

2.75 minute read
"It is a frightening prospect to get suddenly deported from a country. But it is a very real possibility for many immigrants who face the threat of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) picking them from their place of work or home due to issues regarding their status. Deportation is not as sudden or ruthless, however, it is still very frustrating."
Written by My Visa Source Team
Published on:  Sep 10, 2021
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It is a frightening prospect to get suddenly deported from a country. But it is a very real possibility for many immigrants who face the threat of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) picking them from their place of work or home due to issues regarding their status. Deportation is not as sudden or ruthless, however, it is still very frustrating. 

There is a proper process to how removal proceedings work after ICE has decided your immigration status is not valid. You have certain rights and an immigration lawyer can help you navigate the process and protect you from unfair decisions. 

What Is the Process of the Removal Proceedings?

Step 1: Arrest and Custody

You could be arrested by local or federal law enforcement if you are suspected of entering the United States illegally. You will be transferred to ICE’s custody or you could be directly arrested by them. 

Step 2: Expedited Removal or Notice to Appear

Once you have been arrested and charged by the ICE, your case will have 1 of the 2 outcomes. You will face expedited removal if you entered the US illegally or overstayed your visa under the following circumstances:

  • You have been in the US for less than 2 weeks
  • You were arrested within 100 miles of the US border

If neither of the above is true, then you will be released and be asked to appear in an immigration court at a later date. You will receive a Notice to Appear detailing the reasons for your deportation. 

Step 3: Hearing Before an Immigration Judge

You will be required to attend a hearing in front of an immigration judge who will decide whether you are eligible for bail. A bond limit will be set and if you pay it, you will be released till the next hearing. A bond will not be granted if ICE considers your security or safety risk. Then you will be required to be held at the detention center until your next court hearing. 

Step 4: Master Calendar Hearing

This hearing will be conducted in front of an immigration judge to decide what to do next in your deportation proceedings. Based on whether you accept or deny the charges levied against you by ICE, your next hearing will be scheduled.

Step 5: Merits Hearing

This is the hearing where the judge decides whether to let you continue your stay in the US. If removal proceedings are started, then you will have a period of 30 days to appeal against it to the Board of Immigration Appeals. If the appeal comes in your favor, then it is not guaranteed that the ICE won’t also appeal that decision.

Step 6: Order of Removal

If you choose not to appeal the decision of your removal proceedings, then you will receive a Notice of Removal. You can delay this decision by appealing. However, if that appeal is unsuccessful, then you will be deported back to your home country.

How Can a Deportation Lawyer Help Your Case?

It is advisable to obtain a deportation lawyer for your case who can help you get a waiver of deportation or some other mandatory or discretionary relief based on your case. A deportation lawyer can help you in the following ways:

  • Adjustment of status
  • Waivers under INA 212 (h) or 212 (i)
  • Withholding of removal
  • Asylum
  • Voluntary Departure instead of deportation
  • Cancellation of deportation or removal order
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