Deportation

Deportation from the United States

When an individual is deported, they are essentially being forced to leave against their will. They do not have a choice as to whether they can remain in the United States. Generally, the USCIS (the department that used to be known as the INS) issue deportation orders because the individual has somehow broken the law. In 1996, a law was introduced that allowed those who were not citizens in the U.S. and that received a jail sentence for a year or longer to be deported. It does not matter if the sentence was later suspended. They can be deported for something minor that ranges from petty theft to something more serious like murder. To make matters worse an individual can be deported even if they committed the crime in the past. While there is the possibility of appealing the orders of deportation, the odds are against them. After 9/11, the United States government has taken a more active stance on terrorism. In the process of doing this, the U.S. government has aggressively sought out illegal immigrants, permanent residents, and others who are not citizens of the United States with some type of criminal activity for deportation purposes. Supporters argue that these individuals along with others that could pose a threat to national security and public safety should continue to be shipped out of the country. Those against these types of deportation measures argue that because the law is retroactive it is unfair. They believe that some individuals that may have problems with the law in the past may now be law abiding individuals. Since some of law breaking individuals may have turned their life around, some argue that they should be given special consideration – especially if the crime occurred years ago.

Essentially what the United States government has done is set up a one-strike policy. Supporters of this policy argue that there should no be changes made because doing so would send the wrong message to those who have committed crimes. They believe if these individuals commit a crime, they should be held accountable. More illegal immigrants started to be deported in the mid -1990s when stricter immigration regulations were introduced as part of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act. The 1996 law which was signed by President Clinton elevated some misdemeanors to felonies when it came to immigration matters. It made it harder for illegal immigrants, permanent residents. and non US citizens to remain in the United States if they committed a crime. In addition, the deportation process was speeded up and judges no longer had discretionary power when deciding a deportation case. Both children and adults can be deported. Before deportation they are usually held in a facility that is said to closely resemble a jail like environment. Sometimes individuals are detained for months, while other deportations occur so rapidly that their families do not find out until afterwards. One of the problems that the United States encounters is that not all countries are willing to take back those with deportation orders. In these cases, their deportation may be further delayed. There are cases when the USCIS will make exceptions, but these do not occur often. If there are large groups of individuals from the same country being deported, the USCIS often arranges special flights during the week especially for them.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was created to more effectively deal with terrorism and security in general after 9/11. DHS along with immigration agents have more actively hunted down illegal immigrants and other non citizens that may pose a threat to U.S. citizens and others residing in the country. In the case that an individual unexpectedly receives an order for deportation, they should immediately consult with an immigration lawyer. If they cannot do so personally because they are being held in a facility, then their family should take on this responsibility. They should avoid turning to immigration consultants because even though they may be significantly cheaper, they are not qualified to give legal advice. Also keep in mind that immigration consultants cannot file an appeal. Immigration laws are constantly changing and the ones that tend to be the most up-to-date on these matters are those who specifically make a living by providing this type of information. They can petition on your behalf while assembling a stronger case to halt the deportation. It may also be a good idea to consult with more than one immigration lawyer to get different perspectives on the case. However, the individuals must always be on the lookout for fraudulent immigration lawyers.