Deportation from the United States
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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 (formerly known as the INS) issues deportation orders because the individual has somehow broken the law. In 1996, a law was introduced that called for the deportation of non-United States citizens who received a jail sentence for over one year. Under this legislation, it does not matter if the sentence was later suspended or mitigated. Regardless, individuals can be deported for various crimes that range from petty theft to something more serious such as murder. Individuals can also be deported if they committed the crime prior to the 1996 legislation. While there is the possibility of appealing orders of deportation, the odds are minimal. After the terrorist attacks of 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 and deported illegal immigrants,
permanent residents, and other non-United States citizens who have previously engaged in criminal activity. Supporters of this legislation argue that these individuals, along with others, could pose a threat to national security and public safety and should therefore continue to be deported from the country. Those against these types of deportation measures argue that because the law is retroactive it is unfair and deporting individuals for minor crimes only breaks up families. Critics of the legislation also claim that some individuals that may have had 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 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 especially for them.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was created after the terrorist attacks of September 11 to more effectively deal with terrorism and security issues. DHS along with immigration agents have more actively prosecuted 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. In cases of deportation, individuals 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. Because immigration laws are constantly changing, immigration attorneys generally have the most vast and up to date knowledge pertaining to immigration law. 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, it is important for individuals to always be on the lookout for fraudulent immigration lawyers.