If you’re facing deportation, then you likely have a lot of questions. The immigration court system can seem to be shrouded in a great deal of secrecy.
It’s important to understand as much as possible about the process if you’re seeking to fight your deportation or that of a loved one.
What does deportation entail?
Immigrants whom federal government agencies have taken into custody may be earmarked for deportation. Foreign nationals may be designated as deportable because of things like the following:
- They aren’t in the country lawfully — maybe because they didn’t secure a visa or overstayed their visa.
- They were recently convicted of a crime or released from prison.
There’s generally a removal hearing during which an immigration judge will decide whether a person should be returned to their home country.
Deportation (or removal) hearings are trials that allow both the government and the defendant the opportunity to make their arguments. There isn’t any witness testimony from outside parties or presentation of evidence at these hearings. A significant amount of the time during these brief hearings goes toward translation of the proceedings.
What rights does someone facing deportation have?
One difference between someone facing criminal charges and deportation is that the government doesn’t provide you with attorney to represent your interests at removal hearings if you don’t have your own. You also aren’t necessarily afforded a right to choose whether a judge or jury decides your matter.
Decisions in immigration court are decided solely by a judge. Should you be unhappy with their decision, then you might be able to appeal it. However, that can take months or even years.
If your future in the United States is hanging in the balance, it’s important to learn about the deportation process and your rights and to present a solid case for why you should remain in the country.