Deportation is when the federal government orders the removal of a non-citizen from the U.S.  Normally this happens because the person violated immigration laws, and illegal immigrants are the most common type of deported person. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement is the only authority that can arrest an individual to be deported, while the Immigration Courtnormally oversees the actual deportation of an illegal immigrant.

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If you’ve already been seeking legal status in the United States, you will receive a Notice to Appear by mail.  This will inform you that the proceedings for your removal have begun and you be given a date to show up in court for your “Master Calendar Hearing”.  Do not miss this hearing, or else you will face an order of removal and have to leave the country.  

Not all hope is lost if you are arrested and accused of being an illegal immigrant.  If you have a good immigration lawyer, you may be able to convince the authorities that they made a mistake or you have good legal reason to remain in the country.  Immigrants are entitled to legal representation, however, the government will not pay for it.  

You also have to option to leave voluntarily.  This may be a good idea because the U.S. will allow you to reenter when you get a proper visa.  Also, if you leave voluntarily, you will not have to wait five years like people who have been removed.   People who are deported sometimes have to wait up to twenty years to reenter the U.S. legally.

If your removal hearing ends with a verdict not in your favor, you can appeal your removal to the Board of Immigration Appeals.  You have to submit your form in writing.  This process is not fast; you may have to wait months or years for a decision.  If the BIA denies your appeal, you can also appeal to the local federal circuit of court appeals.  No matter the way you appeal, be prepared for it to take several years.

It's recommended to get expert advice from an immigration attorney when you're facing a serious immigration issue like a possible deportation.

Get started Ask a lawyer Ask a lawyer your deportation questions. We'll get back to you within 24 hours.

Get started Ask a lawyer Ask a lawyer your deportation questions. We'll get back to you within 24 hours.