What are the steps in the deportation and removal process?

Many people from other countries flee their homelands for the U.S. in hopes of having a better life. However, non-citizens in Kentucky and other states may, for a variety of reasons, face the possibility of deportation and removal. Therefore, it is important that they are familiar with the deportation process, so they can understand their rights and know what to expect.

First, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will serve an immigrant with a Notice to Appear (NTA). This document will have information such as the immigrant’s name, where the immigrant came from and the reason the immigrant is being deported. After that, a hearing will be held in immigration court where the judge will ask the immigrant if they are able to move forward with the case or whether the immigrant needs more time to obtain a lawyer. If the immigrant wants a lawyer an individual hearing will take place later on in the process.

Once the immigrant has legal representation or has decided to move forward on their own, the individual hearing will take place. Here the judge will ask the immigrant if the information in the NTA is correct. The immigrant may be able to apply for any various forms of relief. If the immigrant is eligible for one, another hearing will take place. If not, the immigrant will be deported.

At the subsequent hearing the immigrant will be able to testify and put forth witnesses on their behalf. The judge will either orally make a ruling at the hearing or will make a written ruling at a future date. If the immigrant is to be deported, they have 30 days to appeal the judge’s ruling. The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) handles such cases. If the BIA also determines the immigrant should be deported, the immigrant can appeal the decision of the individual hearing to the U.S. Court of Appeals. But, a BIA ruling cannot be appealed. Barring that, the appellate court ruling can be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

As this shows, throughout the deportation process, non-citizens have rights. They have the right to be informed about why they are being deported, they have the right to choose to be represented by an attorney and they have hearing rights. They also have the right to appeal an unfavorable ruling in certain circumstances. Every person’s case is different though, and this post does not offer legal advice. Therefore, non-citizens facing deportation will want to seek the help necessary to better understand their situation.



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