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How Is Deportation Processing Similar and Different from Criminal Proceedings?

Author: Deportation Lawyer Alena Shautsova

When facing deportation, it helps to know what the legal process involves and also to have a competent immigration lawyer to help defend your rights.

Despite the fact that deportation is a civil or administrative procedure it bears similarities to the criminal justice process for arrest and booking. When a border patrol or ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agent takes an immigrant into custody, the immigrant undergoes the following:

  • Fingerprinting
  • Photograph taken
  • Background check done cross-referencing various agencies' databases including the FBI

In addition, Department of Homeland Security (DOHS) officers act very similarly to prosecutors through their other functions where they can issue arrest warrants, determine causes for removal (deportation) and set bond or other conditions for release. In contrast to immigration proceedings, criminal proceedings require judges rather than administrative officials to set bond. However, immigrants can request re-determination hearings by an immigration judge if they disagree with bond amounts.

You have the right to an attorney who can represent you in immigration proceedings. However, the government does not pay for an attorney if you cannot afford one, which is different than the criminal justice process. Extensive paperwork occurs when processing an immigrant for removal and consequently there is a lot of information that officials can access which creates an immigration history and record.

If you or a loved one has questions about deportation, face deportation proceedings or need legal help to deal with an immigration matter, consult a US deportation lawyer and find out how to protect your rights.

03 April 2013
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