Removal of a Non-Citizen from the United States

If you are not a citizen of the United States and are here on an immigrant or nonimmigrant visa, there are particular circumstances in which you may face deportation. Deportation proceedings are formally referred to as removal and are managed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, an agency operating within the Department of Homeland Security. Depending on the case, a non-citizen may be deported for a violation of immigration laws or for certain criminal offenses.

In the face of removal proceedings, you have specific options and rights. You may be able to file an application for a stay of deportation or removal and may be able to avoid being deported altogether. Because every case is different, we recommend reading more information about deportation and also recommend that you consult with a qualified immigration lawyer who offers deportation defense counsel.

What is deportation?
Deportation, formally called "removal," is a legal process wherein a non-citizen is removed from the United States. Deportation is handled by Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), a division of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. A person who is facing deportation will have specific rights and options in challenging or staying deportation.

Reasons for Deportation
Non-citizens who may face deportation include certain convicted criminals, fugitives, illegal border entrants and those who pose a threat to national security or who have acted in violation of immigration laws. Specific reasons for deportation may include: falsifying immigration documents, illegally gaining entry to the U.S., helping another illegally gain entry to the U.S., committing marriage fraud and engaging in illegal voting.

The Removal Process
The removal process typically begins when a Notice to Appear is issued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The Notice to Appear will be filed with the immigration court and will be served to the non-citizen. The notice will state the reason for deportation. A hearing will then be scheduled (depending on whether the non-citizen is eligible for such a hearing), and the non-citizen may choose to hire an attorney or may forgo legal counsel. An immigration judge will preside over the hearing, reviewing the evidence at hand to determine whether the non-citizen will be deported. Depending on the outcome of this hearing, the non-citizen may be able to file an appeal with the Board of Immigration Appeals.

Deportation Defense: How an Attorney Can Help
You may be entitled to a hearing in the face of deportation or removal, and having an immigration attorney to handle this hearing and any subsequent appeal may make all the difference in whether you are actually removed from the U.S. An attorney will understand the proceedings you are facing and how to properly present a compelling case on your behalf to will help the immigration judge see why deportation should not occur.

If you are facing removal, find an immigration lawyerwho can offer you the legal help you need.