When discussing deportation, most of the focus is on preventing wrongful deportation/removal because of a perceived error or oversight by the government, an Immigration Judge, and/or the Bureau of Immigration Appeals. However, in reality, thousands of immigrants are ordered to be deported every year in this county, wrongfully so or not. And what many fail to understand is that even after being ordered to be removed/deported, immigrants still have options and constitutionally protected rights. That’s why you need a good deportation lawyer advocating for you or someone you know who is facing deportation. Today we will discuss, briefly, what rights an immigrant has regarding the length of time the government is allowed to detain him or her, after ordering removal/deportation from the United States.
In general, when an immigrant is ordered to be removed/deported from the United States, the U.S. government (Attorney General) has ninety (90) days to remove that immigrant. If an immigrant has not left or has not been removed/deported within that 90 day period, then, the U.S. government should, generally, release the affected immigrant under supervision. Again, an immigrant released because the 90 day period has passed will be supervised. That means the following regulations/rules, amongst others, will most likely apply to a released, supervised immigrant:
1. The immigrant may need to appear before an immigration officer periodically for identification;
2. The immigrant may have to submit, if necessary, to a medical and psychiatric examination at the expense of the United States Government;
3. The immigrant may need to give information under oath about the alien’s nationality, circumstances, habits, associations, and activities, and other information the Attorney General considers appropriate; and
4. The immigrant will need to obey reasonable written restrictions on the alien’s conduct or activities that the Attorney General prescribes for the alien.
However, all immigrants must understand that he or she does not have an absolutely right to be released if he or she is not removed/deported within 90 days. There are exceptions to the law. For example, if the immigrant ordered to be removed/depoerted is (1) inadmissible under certain immigration laws or (2) determined to be a risk to the community or (3) unlikely to comply with the order of removal, that immigrant may be detained longer than the above-mentioned 90 day period.
The question for an immigrant detained longer than 90 days then becomes: how long can the government continue detaining me, without violating my constitutionally protected rights? In, Zadvydas v. Davis and Clark v. Marinez, the U.S. Supreme Court addressed that question. The answer: an immigrant who has been ordered removed may be detained for a length of time reasonably necessary to bring about the actual removal of that immigrant. The term reasonable length of time has been deemed to be six (6) months, presumptively. That means that after six (6) months, if there is no reasonably foreseeable date of removal, the detained immigrant may have a strong argument that he or she should be released under appropriate supervision. There are exceptions.
For example, even if there is no reasonably foreseeable date of removal, an immigrant ordered to be removed/deported my be detained “for additional periods of up to six months,” if the release of the immigrant will threaten the national security of the United States or the safety of the community or any person– Congress established this exception as a direct result of U.S. Supreme Court’s above-mentioned case, Zadvydas v. Davis.
As you can read, an immigrant continues to have certain protected rights (and options), even after he or she has been ordered to be removed/deported. This discussion briefly touched on only one of those rights. However, there are many other issues and rights that must be addressed. That’s why you need a good deportation lawyer to help you throughout the “entire” deportation process, from beginning to end.
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