How the US deports illegal immigrants: a step-by-step procedure - ForumDaily
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How the US deports illegal immigrants: a step-by-step procedure

Фото: Depositphotos

Фото: Depositphotos

Persons accused of illegally crossing the US state border go through a lengthy legal process from court hearings. Subsequently, they can either be deported or released. As a rule, the process begins with the arrest, transfers USA Todays.

In the USA - 11,1 million
Estimated number of illegal immigrants living in the US (million):


Persons suspected of illegally crossing the state border of the United States can be arrested by local or federal law enforcement officers and subsequently transferred to the custody of the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Bureau (US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ICE).

Local police

Local police officers who arrest illegal immigrants for violations of the law - from serious crimes to normal fines for violating traffic rules - can transfer information about the arrest to ICE, a branch of the Ministry of National Security. ICE may request to detain a person up to 48 hours and transfer ICE into custody, but local police are not required to comply with these requirements. After this, the detainee must be released, but ICE may arrest him in the future.


US Border Guard Service

Border Patrol agents and officers arrest people at the border and at airports. Those arrested are transferred to ICE.


ICE agents can make arrests in homes, offices and other places. Recently there have been reports of arrests in courts and near schools. After arrest, ICE decides whether to leave a person in custody and continue the expulsion procedure.

Reducing the number of arrests throughout 21
Total arrests of illegal immigrants, 1995 - 2015 (million people):

Expedited Expulsion

Those who become aware that they entered the US illegally or have exceeded their stay in the country on a visa can be deported under an accelerated expulsion procedure. An expedited expulsion order is not subject to appeal, however, individuals may file a statement that this order was not properly issued and ask the government to review and cancel it.

Today, accelerated expulsion is possible only in cases where a person was arrested within 100 miles from the US border, and he spent no more than 2 weeks in the US.

The Trump administration is considering the possibility of using expedited expulsion throughout the country. She proposes a version of the law under which individuals will be subject to accelerated expulsion if they are caught anywhere in the US and they stayed in the country no more than 2 years ago.


If a person is not expelled from the country, then an ordinary immigration lawsuit is initiated against him.

To a person who is under the expulsion procedure, ICE sends a call to the court, where he indicates why the government considers the person to be an illegal immigrant and should be sent. A call to the court is either brought by an immigration officer, or it arrives by mail. A person is given up to 10 days to appear in court.


If ICE decides to expel, the arrested person may be detained. The Bureau assesses the risks of danger posed by a person and decides whether it is possible to release him or her on an obligation or on recognizance. If a person is detained, he remains in the center of the temporary accommodation of illegal immigrants or another prison.

Arrest of illegal immigrants
Top 10 countries by number of people arrested, 2015 year:

Voluntary departure

Some individuals may voluntarily agree to leave the United States on their own terms. This may allow them to return to the United States later if they have legitimate reasons for it.

Decisions on voluntary departure are heard in the 2 phase. Such an opportunity should be requested at the very beginning of the deportation process. To fall under this category, you must meet very strict criteria:

  • Show a valid travel document;
  • Have enough finances for self-departure from the United States;
  • Make a minimum debt obligation of $ 500 within 5 days after the judge’s decision (if requested at the closure of the expulsion case);
  • Do not have previously provided the opportunity for voluntary departure;
  • Be a person with positive morale for at least 5 years before applying for voluntary departure.

If a person is granted the right to voluntary departure, then the date is indicated before which he is obliged to leave the country. This is usually from 2 to 4 months, depending on the stage at which the petition was made to give the opportunity to leave voluntarily.

Illegal immigrants by state
As of the 2014 year, there were approximately 11,1 million illegal immigrants in the United States. This is the latest data. More than half are concentrated in 5 states:

Commitment hearing

A person is brought before an immigration judge as part of a commitment hearing. The judge sets the amount of the obligation in dollars. As with bail, the person who pledged agrees to appear at all hearings or to lose the amount of the obligation.

The judge decides on the establishment of an obligation, based on the following criteria: the local kinship of the person, the ability to deposit the amount, time in the US, criminal history and the method of entry into the country.

If the judge permits to make a commitment and the arrested person has such an opportunity, he is released. If the judge refuses or the amount of the obligation is too high, the person has the right to appeal.

The office of ІCE is represented by a government lawyer. They will either agree that the person may be subject to an obligation, or they will argue that the person is dangerous to the public or may be absconding. The ICE may also require that the amount of the obligation be increased or not allowed at all to release the detainee.

The defendants have the right to a lawyer, but they do not have the right to a lawyer for government money, since they are in a civil case. Many people represent their own interests.

Persons who have been refused release under the obligation remain detained until the end of the deportation hearings or until the amount of the obligation is awarded.

Calendar Hearings (Master calendar hearing)

These short hearings determine the procedure for handling cases. They are conducted by a federal immigration judge in the presence of the prosecutor from ICE.

According to the procedure, all charges are announced, and the person accepts or rejects each of them. You can ask for an initial hearing to be extended. Legal claims are no longer considered. The judge decides when the next hearing will be and what the defense will be against deportation.

Individuals are allowed to remain in the United States if they provide valid excuses against government charges. Legal requirements for excuses are very strict, they can be difficult to fulfill, for example:

  • Asylum. This is when a person claims to be persecuted or is afraid of persecution if he returns to his country of origin.
  • Cancel expulsion. In this case, the person claims that he lived for a long time in the United States, with or without the right of residence, or with the legal status of a permanent resident.
  • Marriage with an American citizen or other related relationship.

Justification hearing

This hearing takes place before an immigration judge. During the meeting, the detained immigrants present their arguments to stay in the country. Such hearings can last many hours and even days. The government is represented by a prosecutor from ICE. A detainee may have his own attorney.

At the end of the hearing, the immigration judge decides whether the defendant can stay in the United States. If he is denied this, then you can appeal to the Immigration Appeals Board for 30 days. ICE can also appeal by court order.

Expulsion order

If the person is not detained, then the immigration judge can either make a decision on the day of the rationale, or send the decision by mail. If the decision is mailed, the person can stay with their family until they receive a written decision. These decisions are subject to appeal.


A person may request that the deportation be postponed for the duration of the appeal hearing against an expulsion order. The decisions of the Immigration Board can be challenged in federal district appeals courts, and in some cases in the Supreme Court.

On appeal may take months. All this time, individuals can remain in custody, even those for whom release is possible under obligation. The country's only Immigration Appeals Board is located in Falls Church, Virginia.

Deportation Trends
Number of illegal immigrants deported by court decision from 1995 to 2015:


Mexican citizens are usually flown by plane to the US border towns. From there they either walk, or they cross the border by bus. Citizens of Central America are taken directly by plane. This is done by the ICE Air Operations Division (ICE Air Operations, IAO).

Since federal law requires people to be deported directly to their countries of residence, IAO carries out regular deportation flights to Central America, as well as irregular flights to other countries.

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deportation illegal immigration immigration Educational program immigrants to the USA deportation of immigrants
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