The deportation process is scary, there are no two ways about it, but it’s scarier when you are living in a country that’s not your own with people who are speaking a language you have trouble understanding. Today we’re going to talk about how the deportation process works to give you a better understanding of what to expect.
How the Deportation Process Works
Step 1: Arrest
The first step in the deportation process is arrest.
When you are suspected of being an illegal immigrant you can be arrested by local or federal law enforcement. After arrest, you will be transferred into the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) can also arrest you for being an illegal immigrant.
Step 2: ICE Custody
If you were arrested by an authority other than the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers you will be turned over to ICE officers following your arrest.
At this point, ICE officers will decide whether they want to take you into custody and continue to pursue charges against you.
Step 3: Expedited Removal or Notice to Appear
If ICE pursues charges against you, you may undergo expedited removal. Expedited removal is done if you have entered the U.S. illegally or have overstayed your visa leave date. This type of removal can only happen IF you have been in the U.S. for less than 2 weeks or less OR if you are arrested within 100 miles of the U.S. border.
If you are not subject to expedited removal, you will be released pending court proceedings. You will then receive a notice to appear via mail or from an immigration officer. This notice from ICE lists why they believe that you are an illegal immigrant and why you should be deported.
*Note: You DO have the option to voluntarily leave the country under voluntary departure. If you decide to do this, you HAVE to request voluntary departure early on and you must meet certain criteria. The benefit of requesting voluntary departure is that you will be allowed re-entry to the country legally in the future. If you are permitted voluntary departure, the court will give you a date by which you must leave the country.
Step 4: Bond Hearing
You will next go through a bond hearing before a Department of Justice immigration judge. The judge will decide whether you are eligible for bail and how much that bail will be. If granted bond, that bond can be paid and you will be released on bond until your hearing. If you are not granted bond, you will be detained at an immigration detention center (or sometimes prison) prior to your court date because ICE feels that you are a safety or security threat.
Step 5: The Master Calendar Hearing
The master calendar hearing is held in front of a federal immigration judge, with an ICE attorney present. This hearing determines what should happen next in the deportation process. At this hearing you will admit to or deny the charges against you and a second hearing date will be determined and what type of defense will be considered in your case.
Step 6: The Merits Hearing
This hearing is held in front of an immigration judge and you will present your case for staying in the country. When this hearing is finished the judge will decide whether or not you will be permitted to stay in the country. If you do not win your case you are allowed to appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals within 30 days. If you do win your case, ICE is also allowed to appeal within 30 days.
Step 7: The Order of Removal
If you do not win your case and do not appeal and are not being kept in custody after your case, you will receive an order of removal via mail (in some cases you will receive this at the end of your hearing). The order of removal decision can be appealed. An appeal will allow you to request a delay of your deportation. You may or may not be kept in custody during the appeals process.
Step 8: Deportation
Federal law requires that all individuals being deported from the U.S. are deported back to their country of origin. Flights are managed by ICE Air Operations and run frequently.
Need Representation in Your Deportation Case?
If you are in California and need representation in your deportation case Nelson and Associates can help! Call us today at 626-683-3451 and have us on your side throughout your hearing.