Deportation is otherwise known as “removal”. This is the process of removing an immigrant from the United States. It applies to anyone who is not an actual citizen of the U.S. I will attempt to describe four ways in which an immigrant is removed from this country. Deportation, or the fear of removal, is very real in the United States.  I currently reside in Birmingham, Al. There are a lot of people who are immigrants of this country who live here as well. Some individuals live in fear of getting raided by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials. Those same people sometimes worry about dropping their children off at school and never being able to see them again because of the threat of removal. So, yes, this issue is very alive in our culture today!

Usually, the removal proceedings are taken through a process of a hearing within an Immigration court. The immigrant would be given reasonable opportunity to make their case known to the court systems. If the alien does not appear in court there will be consequences that follow, however the United States government has offered time to gather the case. Therefore, the immigrant would automatically be removed based on absentia.

Expedited Removal is when an individual is not awarded any deportation proceedings. In fact, if a person enters the United States under a visa waiver program, they are accepting the fact that there will not be an immigration hearing upon violation of immigration laws. Immigration laws are put into place in the colonial period and have developed quite a bit over the years. In 1952 the Immigration and Naturalization act was put into effect. The INA is a list of guidelines and regulations that must be followed by each individual who is not a citizen of the United States.

Deferred Action is another process of removal, however the one benefit of this method is that a person, family, or group may be deferred indefinitely. This typically comes into play when someone is brought to America as a child. A part of the United States Nationality Law states that a person can be made a citizen through the process of Naturalization. If a child was brought to America by their immigrant parents, at the age of eighteen they can begin this process. As long as they were a legal permanent resident for at least five years prior they are able to apply.

The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 says that any child that is in the custody of their parent, who is a United States citizen, is automatically granted citizenship into the U.S. The eligible child has to have at least one U.S. citizen as a parent, be under the age of eighteen, and currently reside in the United States. This also applies to children that have been adopted, which we see a lot of in these days.

Of course, in the Naturalization process there are other requirements and regulations that have to be met in order for that person to become a citizen. If at any time during their five year “probationary” period, they were out of the country for six months or more they will be disqualified from the process and will not be able to obtain citizenship. Like any other law in the United States there are some exemptions and exceptions, for instance, if anyone served in the U.S. military during a period of hostility, they are eligible to receive a naturalization citizenship without having been a permanent resident first.

Stay Removal is implemented by the Department of Homeland Security. This refers to a temporary postponement of removal. This type of removal is usually tied to motions or appeals that are awaiting court decisions. If they have the potential of being overturned, the individual will either receive a discretionary stay removal or an automatic stay removal. The only difference is that the discretionary removals are requested in writing.

A non-citizen can also spend time preparing for a citizenship test. This has four components, speaking, reading, writing, and civics. There are sample questions available for those who want to take this test. They will be expected to answer a minimum of six questions correctly on the civics section of the test. This examines their knowledge of the United States and will give them leverage in the naturalization process and protect from deportation by granting them citizenship.

The last form of deportation is a reentry removal. If an immigrant defiles the terms of their initial agreement to enter the United States, they may receive “bars”. This is a period of time where they cannot apply for reentry, however, once that period is over the individual can apply and receive a new visa. If a person decides to reenter the country illegally, it will result in a fine or imprisonment.