New Jersey Naturalization

The U.S. deportation policy is of interest to many immigrants concerned about the threat of deportation. There are several ways in which legal and undocumented immigrants may face deportation from the United States.

If a non-citizen is convicted of certain charges, he or she is automatically deported from the United States. This includes proven charges of misdemeanors and felonies. It does not matter if the conviction was for a non-violent crime. The crime can also have occurred years earlier.

Immigrants living legally in the United States can be banned from the country for the rest of their lives if they receive one criminal conviction. This includes immigrants that are legal permanent residents in the United States.

Lack of discretion

Immigrants who are convicted of these types of charges first serve out any prison sentences required, and then they are subject to immediate deportation.

Under the U.S. deportation policy, there is little wiggle room for these immigrants. It does not matter if the immigrant has not lived in his or her country of origin for decades, he or she will still be deported.

Some immigrants are deported to their countries of origin even though they cannot remember living there, having entered the United States as a young child. Others have raised families in the United States. Facing deportation, they must move their families with them to their country of origin or leave them behind.

The social consequences of U.S. deportation policies

It is estimated that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, deported 195,772 immigrants with criminal records in 2010. This is the highest number of these deportations ever recorded in the United States.

The high number of deportations has an effect on communities across the country. According to the Urban Institute's figures from 2010, approximately 5.5 million children had undocumented immigrants as parents. Of these children, approximately 4.5 million were U.S. citizens.

When people are deported, they may end up leaving their families behind in the United States. The Applied Research Center revealed in a 2011 study that 5,100 children of undocumented immigrants were in the foster care system. The children of undocumented immigrants may be put up for adoption without any say from deported parents because many states require that the process to terminate parental rights begin after a child is in foster care for 15 of 22 months.

The ordeal can be incredibly damaging for children. Many are not aware of their parents' undocumented status until their parent is deported.

How to get help when facing deportation

If you are facing deportation, the situation may seem hopeless. But a deportation defense attorney can be a positive resource. An informed and experienced attorney can help you sort out your case.