Reasons for Removal
Anyone who is considered an immigrant may be removed (which is the official term for a deportation) by the United States if they are in violation of immigration laws. Some reasons for removal may include the following:
- Violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act
- Violation of any serious law (like a gross misdemeanor or felony) in the United States
- Violation of conditions to enter the United States
- Committing marriage fraud
- Providing false documents
- Failing to provide requested documents
- Unlawful voting
Keep in mind this is only a short list of reasons for removal from the United States. Each of these reasons and many other reasons that are not listed are covered in great detail in the law. Not educating yourself on immigration and deportation laws could cost you much more than you might think. Even people who have remained lawful permanent residents of the United States since they were children may be deported if they commit a removable offense.
Process of Deportation
If you find yourself in the middle of a deportation process you need to know that you are entitled to certain rights. You will go through a legal proceeding and you have the right to challenge the deportation and will have the opportunity to explain and defend your position.
If your presence in the United States is questioned by the government you will receive a Notice to Appear by mail. This document will have general information about the immigrant in question, such as name, address, and country of birth, as well as the reasons the court is seeking deportation.
A hearing will also be scheduled that you must attend. If you do not have an attorney at this initial hearing you will usually be given the opportunity to hire legal counsel and the hearing will be scheduled for a later date.
After you have hired an attorney, you will be questioned, under oath, by the judge regarding the reasons for deportation outlined in the original notice to appear. During this time the judge will allow you to apply for relief from deportation by filing the appropriate forms, if you are eligible. If you are not eligible under any forms of relief, the judge will order deportation. If you are eligible to apply for relief, another hearing will be scheduled.
During the individual hearing you will have the opportunity to testify on your own behalf as well as the chance to have witnesses testify in your defense. After testimony is heard by the judge, the judge can make a ruling during the hearing or you will be notified at a later date on the judge’s decision after further investigation of the matter at hand. Even if the judge decides that you should be deported, all hope is not lost. You then have the right to file an appeal with the Board of Immigration Appeals, and, if necessary, the United States Court of Appeals. The case can even be appealed all the way to the United States Supreme Court, but it is the Supreme Court’s prerogative whether or not it will hear the case.
In order to make sure that you understand the deportation process, you will need to contact an attorney that specializes in immigration law to help protect and understand your legal rights when dealing with matters of immigration.