Memphis immigration lawyer Ari Sauer provides news and information on US immigration law.
Is it possible to be deported without seeing a judge?
QUESTION: Is it true that you can only be deported by an immigration judge?
THE IMMIGRATION ANSWER MAN – ARI SAUER: This is a myth. An Immigration Judge can order non-citizens deported. But since 1997 so can Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers. CBP officers at the border, airports and other ports of entry can issue Expedited Removal orders against someone trying to enter the US without the proper documentation or against someone who lies or uses fraudulent documents when trying to enter the US.
Also, when someone is being held by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the officers often will try to get the person (especially those from Mexico) to agree to a Stipulated Removal. Someone who agrees to a stipulated removal gives up their right to go before an immigration judge and agrees to be deported. People sign these because they usually don’t realize what they are signing and think that they are agreeing to go home without being deported. These are often confused with Voluntary Departure orders, which are issued by an Immigration Judge, not by ICE.
But just because someone was denied entry into the US that doesn’t necessarily mean that they were expeditedly removed, sometimes CBP officers will allow someone to withdraw their application for admission and agree to go back home without a removal order, and sometimes CBP officers and ICE officers will just send someone back without going through the formal process of expeditedly removing them or having them sign a stipulated removal order. Sometimes the difference depends on what paperwork the officer did.
1) If you are ever picked up by immigration, do not sign anything without speaking to your immigration lawyer first, because you are most likely signing a Stipulated Removal order, deporting yourself and giving up any chance you had to get relief from removal from an immigration judge.
2) If you are applying for admission into the US and the CBP officer asks if you would like to withdraw your application for admission, say “yes” (unless you have a legitimate fear of being persecuted, tortured or killed, based on your race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group if you are sent back home and you are asking for asylum). When the CBP officer asks if you want to withdraw you application, what they mean is that they they are giving you a choice to withdraw your application and go back home rather than being ordered deported by Expedited Removal. Either way you are going home, but if you are allowed to withdraw your application for admission then you do not have a deportation bar from future admissions or visas.
3) If you have been denied entry into the US or sent back home by CBP or ICE, especially since 1997, you should have an immigration attorney request your immigration files from the various government agencies to see if you have been deported.
Call 901-507-4270 to schedule an appointment with me to obtain copies of your government records, review them with you, and explain what options you may have for the future.
Last updated March 14, 2013
* This is an advertisement. Ari Sauer is a Memphis immigration lawyer with the Siskind Susser law firm. www.visalaw.com/ari. On this blog we answer questions as a service to our readers, but we cannot assume any liability related to reliance on anything herein, and responses to questions are not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship. Immigration laws and regulations are constantly changing and the rules stated may not apply to your situation. Readers are cautioned to schedule a consultation with an immigration lawyer before acting on anything stated in this blog. This blog is not intended to substitute for a consultation with a qualified immigration law attorney. Ari Sauer is licensed to practice law through the states of Tennessee, New York and New Jersey but is eligible to assist clients from throughout the US. Certification as an Immigration Specialist is not currently available in Tennessee, New York or New Jersey. Siskind Susser limits its practice strictly to immigration law, a Federal practice area, and we do not claim expertise in the laws of states other than where our attorneys are licensed.