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When can the U.S. government order an alien to be removed?

We hear a lot these days about deportation, but just what is it and who can be deported? Deportation, which also is known as removal, happens when an immigrant is detained and shipped out of the country. The alien can be deported for violating a criminal or immigration law. Once returned to their home country, the deported person might not ever be able to come back to the United States, even just for a short visit. But before anyone can be removed, they can challenge the government’s order.

When can an alien in the country be flagged for deportation? That can happen for any number of reasons. These are just a few of the reasons the government can order deportation if the alien:

  • Was ineligible to enter the country at the time they entered.
  • Is violating the Immigration and Nationality Act by being in the country.
  • Helped an alien to illegally enter the United States.
  • Married fraudulently to gain entrance to the country.
  • Was convicted of a specified criminal offense.
  • Voted illegally.

If federal officials determine you should be removed, you will receive a notice to appear in immigration court. The order will come from U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE). You will be scheduled to appear before an immigration judge and you are allowed to have an attorney present.

At the hearing, you will be questioned about the information provided to the judge regarding the government’s reason for your removal. If the judge decides you should be deported, you could be eligible to file for relief from deportation. If you are determined to be eligible, you will have another hearing.

If that relief is denied, you have two more options to appeal locally.

This is a complex process that will impact your future. Can you imagine being deported to your native country and leaving your family behind in Louisiana? You need to have an attorney experienced in immigration matters by your side.