If you’ve been told you have to leave the United States due to your status as an immigrant, you go through the deportation process. Deportation is just another word for removal. It’s a formal process, and the end result is that you must return to your country of origin. If you violate U.S. immigration laws, this is likely.
Although this process seems frightening, you are not without rights. In fact, you have the right to appeal the decision to deport you, and you have the right to apply for readmission after you go through a deportation.
Fight a deportation order
Your attorney is the first person who can help you fight back against a deportation order. You first receive a Notice to Appear, which comes from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency. It gives you the reason for the deportation order. From that point, you receive a hearing date, and the judge gives you a chance to proceed with the case or to work with an attorney. If you do not yet have an attorney, the hearing is changed to a later date, so you have time to find representation.
Once the hearing begins, you have to verify the information on the NTA. If something is incorrect, this is when you may say so. Additionally, if the NTA is accurate, the judge must give you the option to apply for relief from deportation. Many people are eligible for this relief, so it’s important to understand the reason for your deportation and to speak with your attorney about how to appeal to stay in the country.
If you apply for relief, then you get the chance to have people speak on your behalf as witnesses. You may give a testimony as well. After that occurs, the judge makes a decision on your right to stay in the country.
If the judge decides to deport you, all is not lost. You still have the right to appeal the decision within the next 30 days.
Applying for readmission after deportation
Sometimes, deportation is unavoidable. In that case, you may have to reapply for admission into the country through the correct legal channels. It is sometimes difficult to reenter if you went through the deportation process, since you were in violation of U.S. law. You will need to obtain an approved visa petition along with a waiver of inadmissibility. You may need a sponsor, which is a family member who is a legal resident. You also need a waiver of inadmissibility that grants you the right to return. You need to meet with a consular officer at the U.S. embassy or consulate to obtain this paperwork.
It’s harder to get back into the country than it is to fight deportation. Working with a legal professional can help you appeal deportation decisions so you get the chance to stay where you are.