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Understanding the Deportation Process

Understanding the Deportation Process

Deportation is one of the most serious actions the U.S. government can take against a non-citizen here in the U.S. If you are subject to a deportation/removal order, it is critical that you know what your rights are, the options that are available to you, and how a dedicated and knowledgeable Orange County immigration lawyer can assist you.

The Deportation Process

Depending on the circumstances of a case, the deportation process can begin differently. For instance, if it is believed that the non-citizen committed a crime, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) may take action to arrest and detain the non-citizen and begin removal proceedings. If the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) believes that someone has an illegal status, then that individual may be served a Notice to Appear (NTA) document. Either way, the non-citizen should be made aware of the details of their case and their rights.

If you are subject to a removal proceeding, you should be informed of:

  • The reason why you are being called to appear
  • How your status has been violated (or how you broke the law)
  • The consequences for failing to appear
  • That you have a right to hire an attorney

If you have not committed a crime and are considered a low flight risk, it is likely you will not be detained during this time. If you are detained, however, a legal counselor can help navigate your case.

The Hearings

There are potentially two types of hearings a non-citizen can face once removal proceedings have begun. The first of these is a master calendar hearing. This hearing allows the accused to confront the order against them and either accept the deportation or proclaim their intention to challenge the removal order. Failure to miss this hearing can result in an automatic order of removal—so it is extremely critical that you attend.

If you have decided to challenge the removal order, the non-citizen will then attend a merits hearing with an attorney. Here, the non-citizen can present the reasoning why the removal order is uncalled for and why they should be able to stay in the country. Failure to attend this hearing (or any subsequent merits hearing) can also be damaging to your case and result in deportation.

Why Having An Attorney Is Important

As frightening as the removal process is, those subject to them do have rights and, often, options. There are actually a number of different remedies to a removal order and having an attorney by your side isn't just the best way to secure one—it is required for your merits hearings.

Possible remedies for a deportation case include:

  • Asylum
  • Cancellation of removal (based on good standing)
  • Proving the grounds for removal are incorrect
  • Proving that your NTA document did not reach you in time
  • Voluntary departure (which is less damaging to your record)
  • Stay of removal from the Board of Immigration Appeals or the DHS

Whatever the circumstances of your deportation matter might be, it is highly recommended that you contact an attorney. At the Yekrangi & Associates, we have helped countless clients and families resolve their immigration matters, including deportation and removal proceedings.

Don't wait to start exploring your legal options. Call our offices today for a free case evaluation.


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