Removal (Deportation)

Removal (formerly known as deportation) is the process by which the federal government decides whether to order a non-citizen removed from the United States. If you are facing removal, contact a Massachusetts immigration lawyer as soon as possible to protect your rights.

Grounds for removal

You may be removed from the U.S. if you violate immigration or criminal laws. There are many grounds including:

  • Being an inadmissible alien.
  • Violating nonimmigrant status or a condition of entry into the U.S. (e.g., overstaying a visa, working without authorization).
  • Encouraging or assisting another alien to enter the U.S. illegally.
  • Fraudulently marrying someone to enter the U.S.
  • Being convicted of certain crimes including aggravated felonies, crimes involving moral turpitude, and some drug, firearms, and domestic violence offenses.
  • Failing to report a change of address.
  • Falsifying documents relating to entry in to the U.S.
  • Participating in any activity that endangered public safety or created a national security danger.
  • Unlawfully voting.

Removal process

If the government seeks to deport you, the following will occur.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issues and serves a Notice to Appear (NTA), stating the grounds for deportation.

The immigration court schedules a hearing, at which the immigration judge asks if you are ready to go forward, or if you need time to hire an immigration attorney. If you need time to hire an attorney, the hearing is rescheduled.

Once you have an immigration attorney, the immigration judge will ask you to verify the information in the NTA.

If the judge determines that the NTA is accurate and that you can be deported, you are allowed to apply for relief from deportation. If you decide to apply for relief, the court schedules a hearing date. If you are not eligible, deportation will be ordered.

If an individual hearing is held, you may testify and have witnesses testify. At the end of the hearing, the immigration judge will either make an oral decision, or will issue a written decision at a later date.

If the judge orders you deported, you have 30 days from the date of the decision to appeal the decision to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). If the BIA decides against you, you may appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals. The government may appeal an unfavorable hearing decision, but may not appeal an unfavorable decision by the BIA. You can appeal an appellate court decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Contact us

Removal is a serious matter and the procedure can be complicated. For representation in a removal case or any other immigration matter, contact Boston immigration lawyer Dave Ionson at (781) 674-2562.