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How to find out if someone has been deported

Updated March 21, 2017

First, let's begin with the definition of deportation: "The formal removal of an alien from the United States when the alien has been found removable for violating the immigration laws. Deportation is ordered by an immigration judge without any punishment being imposed or contemplated. Now called Removal, this function is managed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement," according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Reasons for removal proceedings include working without authorisation, failing to notify the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency of a change of address, and criminal or terrorist activities.

Step 1. Find out if a Notice to Appear (NTA) has been filed in Immigration Court.

The federal agencies authorised to initiate removal proceedings fall under the Department of Homeland Security. The agencies are the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). There are more than fifty Immigration Courts in the United States.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) must prove that a foreign national has violated the immigration laws. An Immigration Judge must determine that DHS has met their burden of proof.The foreign national has the right to apply for relief from the removal.

DHS starts the process by issuing a Notice to Appear (NTA) and filing the notice with the immigration court. The NTA must include the foreign national's name, alien registration number, country of citizenship, and the allegations or basis for the request for removal. If the Immigration Judge orders the removal, the foreign national has thirty (30) days to appeal the decision. If the person is detained but does not pose a threat to public safety and national security, they may be able to get released on bond while waiting for the removal proceedings.

Step 2. Contact the immigration detention centre.

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Headquarters 500 12th St, SW Washington, DC 20536 ice.gov

The Office of Detention and Removal (DRO) is a division of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). It is their responsibility to identify and arrest illegal aliens, fugitive aliens, and criminal aliens, and to enforce the court orders to remove them from the United States.

Office of Detention and Removal Operations Offices If you suspect that someone has been detained by immigration authorities, you can contact one of the Detention and Removal Operations (DRO) field offices for the most current information available about detained individuals. A list can be found at: http://www.ice.gov/about/dro/contact.htm.

Step 3. Request records through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

You can request public records under the USCIS Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Privacy Act (PA) by contacting the office below.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services National Records Center, FOIA/PA Office P. O. Box 648010 Lee's Summit, MO 64064-8010 Live Assistance: 1-800-375-5283 Fax (816) 350-5785 uscis.foia@dhs.gov

Things You'll Need

  • Internet access
  • Telephone
  • Identifying information of the person: name, most recent address, date of birth, and country of citizenship
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About the Author

Based in Cleveland, Barbara Howard began her writing career in 2007 and published her children's book, "A Day for the Animals," in 2008. Howard studied political science at Kent State University and is a graduate of World Harvest Bible College, where she earned a diploma in Biblical studies.