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A Notice Of Deportation: What Are Your Options?

by Layla Bryant

For people who are not permanent residents, nothing is more frightening than receiving A Notice of Deportation. If you've been fighting to stay in the U.S., you may not be surprised by this development. But other people are caught unaware, believing that their paperwork is up-to-date. If you receive this order, you need to immediately contact an immigration lawyer who can explain your options.


The US government sends deportation orders to specific groups, including those who illegally crossed the border, who stayed beyond their visa date, who have a criminal conviction, and who have an old order of deportation that they were not aware of. You can be in the process of applying for "status" when you receive this type of notice. You are never truly safe until you become a citizen. 


Your lawyer will advise you not to despair and will explain your legal options. In some cases, your immigration judge may grant a motion to reopen your case and reconsider the deportation order. If the order was granted when you were absent, known as an In Absentia Decision, a judge may feel that you should have a chance to defend yourself against the deportation. You may also have a chance to overturn the order if your circumstances have changed. This means that you have uncovered new facts or information that may influence the judge's decision. The last practical resource you have is to appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals, although on rare occasions, you can take it to an appellate court.


If you lose your appeals, then you will have to follow the order of deportation. To ignore it means you can be subjected to severe penalties. You will first have the option to self-deport or to report to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. If you ignore your orders, you will be declared a fugitive and can be arrested at any time and held in custody until deportation can be arranged. When you receive your final deportation order, you need to accept the finding. Otherwise, you will be ducking and hiding continually, unable to live in peace.

If you receive a Notice of Deportation, you need to prepare for the possibility of leaving the US. However, a good immigration lawyer may be able to help you stay legally if you fit in certain categories. Do not give up, but do follow the letter of the law. Go to website for more information.