Deportation is the procedure utilized by the U. S. Immigration and
Naturalization Service to try to expel certain aliens from the United
States. Among the types of individuals routinely subjected to
deportation proceedings are people who illegally entered the United
States or people who, although they entered legally, have subsequently
violated their status by working without permission or remaining longer
A deportation proceeding is commenced by the issuance of a legal paper
known as an "Order to Show Cause." The Order to Show Cause lists the
reasons why the government believes that the alien is deportable. An
alien who is charged with being deportable is entitled to a hearing
before an Immigration Judge. Most often the alien will be required to
post a bond with the Immigration and Naturalization Service to insure
that he will return for his hearing. Note that immigration bonds are not
percentage bonds, but full cash bonds. If the alien cannot afford to
post bond, he still is entitled to a hearing but must remain detained
until the case has been decided.
At the hearing before the immigration judge, the Immigration Service is
represented by an attorney who is called a trial attorney. The alien is
entitled to be represented by an attorney at no expense to the
government. Note there are some voluntary agencies in and around Chicago
which will represent indigent immigrants at no cost or a reduced fee. A
list of such agencies is provided to an alien at the time the
deportation proceeding is commenced.
The outcome of a deportation hearing may depend on many different
factors, for example: the length of time the alien has resided in the U.
S., his family ties to the U.S., the political situation in his home
country, his prior immigration history and his prior criminal
Depending on the absence or presence of these different factors, an
alien may be eligible to apply for various forms of relief, among them,
suspension of deportation, and political asylum or adjustment of status.
If ineligible for other forms of relief, as a final alternative to
deportation, an alien may apply for voluntary departure. To qualify for
voluntary departure, one must be a person of good moral character and
must be capable of paying his own passage out of the U.S.
Following a decision by the immigration judge, each side has the right
to appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). Once the BIA has
ruled, either side may seek judicial review in the federal courts.