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What Does the Deportation Process Look Like in Texas?

Posted on in Immigration

Harris County, TX deportation defense attorney

Getting deported is every immigrant’s biggest fear. Whether you just arrived in the United States or have built a life here, you run the risk of being sent back to your country of origin if you are found to be in violation of immigration laws. The deportation process is scary for any undocumented immigrant, but it is important to understand the steps followed during this process and your rights when facing potential deportation.

The Deportation Process Explained

The deportation process can begin with an arrest by state or local law enforcement officers. When criminal charges are filed, an individual’s fingerprints are sent to the Texas Department of Public Safety, which are then passed on to the FBI. If these fingerprints match federal immigration records at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the person can be detained in the local jail for up to 48 hours before being released to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). ICE may also begin deportation proceedings against a person on its own by sending a person a Notice to Appear for a removal hearing. Deportation will typically involve the following steps:

  1. Detainment: Arrested individuals can be detained if ICE decides to pursue removal. ICE determines whether the individual poses a safety or security risk and decides whether a bond should be granted or if the person may be released. An immigrant may be held in a detention center or other prison. Currently, expedited removals are for immigrants arrested within 100 miles of U.S. borders who have been inside the United States for less than two weeks. Expedited removal orders cannot be appealed, but in some cases, the orders may have been improperly issued. If this is the case, the government can review and dismiss them. 

  2. Bond Hearing: An immigrant will appear before a Department of Justice judge to determine whether they can be released on bond during deportation proceedings. Whether or not a bond is granted will be based on certain circumstances, such as if the immigrant has family in the United States, his or her ability to post bond, they amount of time already spent in the United States, their criminal record, and how he or she entered the country. If a bond is granted and can be paid, the individual is released. If a bond is denied or cannot be posted, the person can appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals. 

  3. Master Calendar Hearing: This hearing determines how the case will proceed in court. Individuals will admit or deny each charge that is being listed. Possible defenses can include: Asylum, where the individual claims persecution or fear of persecution if returned to his or her country of origin; Cancellation of Removal, where the person claims he or she has been in the United States for a long time (with or without authorization); or Marriage to a U.S. citizen or another family-based reason.

  4. Merits Hearing: An immigration judge will hear the immigrant’s arguments for staying in the country. By the end of the hearing, the judge will decide whether or not the individual can stay in the United States. Appeals can be made by both the immigrant and ICE within a 30-day period.

  5. Order of Removal: If a judge decides that an immigrant should be removed from the United States, they will issue an order of removal. If the individual was not detained, this order may be sent through the mail. After an order of removal is issued, a person will be returned to their home country.

Contact a Houston, TX Immigration Lawyer 

To many, the immigration process can seem impossible to navigate, and an immigrant may fear that he or she will be unable to avoid deportation. However, with the help of an experienced attorney, you can determine your legal options for staying in the U.S. At The Foray Firm, we are committed to helping families address immigration issues. If you are facing possible deportation or need assistance with other immigration matters, contact our Houston immigration attorneys at 832-919-6400 for help securing your citizenship.

Sources:

https://www.caller.com/pages/interactives/graphics/deportation-explainer/

https://www.texastribune.org/2016/02/16/flowchart-ice-texas-jails/

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