The Deportation Process: Key Things to Know
The deportation process is complicated and can involve many different people from different government organizations. You might be involved with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), including Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP), as well as immigration judges, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) and many others.
The whole process can be as quick as a few hours. It can also take years. Sometimes, deportation is never completed because the United States recognizes your right to remain in this country.
No matter what your situation or who is involved, deportation can feel frightening and overwhelming, especially because there is so much at stake. Getting help from an experienced lawyer is the best way to fight deportation.
At the law office of Mark E. Jacobs, P.C., in Dallas, Texas, we use years of experience to protect your rights, fight deportation and keep you where you belong.
Step 1: Immigration Arrest
The deportation process often starts with an immigration arrest. In the United States, the law prohibits ICE from arresting and detaining you just because you look a certain way or speak a certain language.
However, it is common for ICE to stop people just because they look like they might be noncitizens, and then find another reason to arrest and detain them. If you share that you were born outside of the United States or have no immigration status, ICE can arrest and detain you.
The deportation process can also start when you are arrested for a crime and local law enforcement gives your information to ICE. It can also start when you file an application for immigration status and are denied.
Step 2: Immigration Detention
Federal law allows DHS to detain anyone while they determine if that person is a noncitizen and is deportable. Some people are here legally who are still held in detention while DHS determines what the next steps will be. That person may be held at a processing facility, field office or holding center. They may also be detained for a long time at a private detention center, county jail or prison.
Sometimes a loved one gets arrested and just doesn’t come home. If you need help finding out where a loved one is being held, a lawyer can get you answers.
Step 3: Immigration Bond Hearing
People who are detained by DHS and who are not released can request that a bond be set by ICE or an immigration judge. Some courts limit the amount of time the government can detain children, people with mental health issues or other vulnerable people. Requesting a bond hearing can feel complicated and overwhelming, so it’s best to get a lawyer’s help.
Step 4: Immigration Court
Next, the immigration court decides whether a person can legally be deported. Removal proceedings are a two-step process. First, the court holds a “master hearing.” Then, the court holds an “individual/merits” hearing.
In the master hearing, the court determines whether you can be deported. The court looks at evidence that you are not a United States citizen and that you have violated immigration laws.
In the individual/merits hearing, you have an opportunity to present evidence that you are eligible for immigration status. You might be eligible if you have a family member here or if your employer will sponsor you.
Facing Deportation? Get Legal Help.
The deportation process is complicated. To help protect your rights, we recommend reaching out to a professional immigration attorney. To learn more about your options when facing deportation, give us a call at 972-445-7577 or send us a message.