Deportation or "removal" takes place when the Federal Government removes an immigrant from the United States for violations of immigration or criminal laws.
A Notice to Appear (NTA), with the reasons for the removal, is issued by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and filed with the Immigration Court. The alien will be asked by the immigration judge to admit or deny the allegations contained in the NTA.
According to Federal law, there are many reasons why a person can be deported from the United States. The following are the most common:
- Persons that were inadmissible at the time of entry to the U.S. or adjustment of status,
- Visa overstay;
- Commission of Crimes Involving Moral turpitude (CIMT) also defined as crimes involving moral indecency;
- Falsify documents relating to entry in the Unites States, such as an alien registration card, Visa or US passport;
Removal proceedings take place in Immigration Court. More than 200 Immigration Judges distributed in 53 Immigration Courts nationwide conduct proceedings and decide individual cases. The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and the law provide several forms of relief from deportation.
If an Immigration Judge determines that you are removable, you could still be able to apply for any form ofRelief from Removal, or any other form of discretionary relief.
The available forms of relief include:
- Adjustment of Status from a non-immigrant to a lawful permanent resident, often petitioned for by a spouse, another family member, or an employer;
- Cancellation of Removal is available to qualifying lawful permanent residents who have continuously resided in the United States for at least 7 years and qualifying non-permanent residents continuously present for at least 10 years;
- Suspension of deportation under the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA);
- Cancellation of deportation according to the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), for battered non citizen spouse or child of an abusive U.S. citizen or permanent resident;
- Protection under the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT);
- Asylum, for the victims of persecution in their country of origin, under section § 208 (a) of the INA, when the alien qualifies as a "refugee". The petitioner has to demonstrate the inability to return to his/her home country;
- Similarly, the Withholding of Removal or "non-refoulment", under the United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, is a form of relief of removal to a country where the alien would suffer persecution based on race, religion, nationality, or political opinion;
- Voluntary departure at your own personal expense and return to your home country, or another country. It’s the most common form of relief from removal and may be granted by Immigration Judges, as well as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). People granted voluntary departure must depart within the time specified by the Immigration Judge. Usually people granted voluntary departure prior to the completion of removal proceedings must depart within 120 days, and those after the conclusion of removal proceedings must depart within 60 days;
The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) hears appeals of Immigration Judge decisions. The BIA, part of the U.S. Department of Justice, is the highest administrative body, which interprets and applies the immigration laws.