Deportation 101: Reasons For Removal

Deportation can devastate hopes, separate families, and interrupt lives. It is something that hundreds of thousands of American immigrants face each year. For many, removal proceedings are surprising, catching them off guard. At Davis & Associates, we believe in preparing you for every possibility. This article reviews the many reasons that a person may face removal proceedings in the United States (U.S.).

In 2016, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), aided by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), deported over 340,000 individuals. Further, the organization issued nearly 250,000 Notices to Appear, also known as NTAs. Those who received NTAs must appear before a judge in immigration court. The judge will decide whether or not deportation proceedings continue, and a lawyer can be present to help the defendant and seek relief from removal.

Within this article, you’ll learn:

  • Common reasons for deportation;
  • Who can be deported;
  • Who is subject to expedited removal;
  • What you should expect during removal proceedings; and
  • Ways someone can stop deportation.

Why Can Someone Be Deported?

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) outlines reasons an immigrant, legal or otherwise, can be deported in Section 237. Firstly, it is important to note that there are many reasons that a person may be subject to removal. For a full list, you can read all possibilities via the INA itself here. We include a list of the most popular reasons for deportation below.

  • Drug offenses
  • Unlawful or undocumented arrival in the U.S.*
  • Working as an undocumented immigrant
  • Violent crimes/Aggravated Felonies
  • Crimes involving “moral turpitude”
  • Violation of visa agreement
  • Failure to register change of address
  • Marriage fraud
  • Document fraud
  • Inadmissibility upon arrival to U.S.*

*May be subject to expedited removal proceedings, which we define and describe below.

Who Can The U.S. Deport?

Any person who is not either a born or naturalized U.S. citizen can be placed in removal proceedings. Though, naturalized U.S. citizens can be eligible for deportation if they falsified information during their green card or naturalization applications. Such instances are not common, especially considering the intense vetting processes conducted by the U.S. government for both green card holders and naturalized citizens.

While all legal immigrants, including green card holders, can face deportation, not all removal procedures apply to everyone. For example, a concerning process known as “expedited removal” is only utilized with those deemed inadmissible at the border or those undocumented immigrants apprehended within two weeks and/or 100 miles of the border.

Understanding “Expedited Removal”

Utilized quite often, “expedited removal” refers to a U.S. deportation process that does not entitle defendants to a hearing. Removal decisions are made by low-level government officials and are not appealable. Unfortunately, this means that the system is rife with potential errors with little oversight. If you would like to learn more about expedited removal, you can read about it on the American Immigration Council’s website.

What Can You Expect During Removal Proceedings?

If someone receives a Notice to Appear (NTA), it can be difficult to discern what might happen next. Unfortunately, you must take an NTA very seriously. Failure to appear in court can result in deportation or furthering proceedings in absentia, as well as ICE arrest and detention.

Currently, the U.S. immigration court system is suffering under the weight of an immense case backlog. As of mid-January, in the midst of the recent shutdown, the caseload backed up well past 800,000 cases. This was due to the furlough of immigration judges and their staff, which shuttered courts for roughly one month. In fact, the government shutdown alone delayed about 60,000 immigration court cases! Those who received cancellations will likely have to wait years for another court date.

Thus, any person undergoing traditional removal proceedings should expect to a long wait. Luckily, immigration lawyers exist to help ensure the process moves as smoothly as possible. An expert lawyer will guide your case and work hard to achieve your desired outcome, whatever that may be.

You can read more about the exact steps of the deportation process here. You can also learn about your rights when interacting with ICE officers here.

Can You Stop Deportation?

There are certain ways to stop deportation. These are also known as “relief from removal.” One common way to achieve relief from deportation is asylum – applicants can seek defensive asylum during removal proceedings. In this case, an immigration court judge will decide whether or not the situation warrants asylum. If a judge grants asylum, deportation proceedings immediately cease.

Other ways to attain relief from removal include adjustment of status or cancellation of removal (for green card holders with certain criminal convictions). You can read more about stopping deportation in one of our previous articles.

Work With A Qualified Deportation Attorney

Without a doubt, deportation proceedings can be stressful and heartbreaking. The best ally during this process is an expert deportation attorney. Immigration lawyers will guide you through proceedings, as well as ensure you receive fair consideration. Further, immigration attorneys innately understand removal relief options and can explore these for you. In fact, legal counsel is so critical that those with representation are more likely to experience successful outcomes in court.

The experienced and qualified team at Davis & Associates passionately serves clients in the Miami area. Our lawyers are at-the-ready to protect your rights and ensure due process. If you or a loved one face deportation, or if you have any immigration concern, contact us today. For your convenience, we offer free initial consultations. During your consult, you’ll meet with one of our expert attorneys, discuss your unique case, and receive advice regarding your options moving forward.

Hope exists, even when facing deportation – contact us today!