Deportation rules in the United States are outlined in the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996. It was signed into law by President Bill Clinton.
The law created "increased border patrol staffing for border surveillance, enhanced enforcement and penalties against alien smuggling, tougher sanctions for illegal immigrants caught inside the U.S. borders, and increased restrictions on alien employment, benefits, and assistance programs," Immigration in America noted.
The process for deportation is lengthy and complex.
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Typically, an illegally immigrant will receive notice from the Department of Homeland Security, requiring them to attend a meeting before a judge, according to Lawyers.com
Their notice to appear will explain why they are being asked to visit the judge, how they have broken immigration law in the United States, that they are entitled to legal counsel but responsible for hiring and paying their attorney, and the ramifications if they do not show up.
A judge will rule on their immigration status after the hearing. If a judge finds that they are eligible to be deported, they may appeal the decision under "relief from removal." They will receive another hearing after that to rule on their appeal.
There are several reasons that a deportee could receive such relief, Lawyers.com said. If someone holds a green card, issued to a citizen as a lawful permanent resident, they could have their decision reversed if they have been living in the United States for seven consecutive years after their green card was issued; if they had been a lawful permanent resident for at least five years; and if they had never been convicted of a felony or "never been granted cancellation of removal" previously.
Those who are not lawful permanent residents could also get a reversal of the judge's deportation decision if they had lived for 10 years continuously in the United States; if they exhibited "good moral character" during that decade in the U.S.; if they had never been served with a previous notice to appear; or if they could show that their deportation would cause great harm to their children, parents or spouse. Also, they could be allowed to stay if their child, spouse or parent were a U.S. citizen, the website noted.
Deportations hit a new high in 2013, the Pew Research Center reported
. In that fiscal year, 438,421 illegal immigrations were sent home. Most of those were not criminals, Pew added, noting the rise of deportations completed by the U.S. Customs and Border Protect, which was responsible for 25 percent of all deportations in 2013.
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