What many people may not realize about "deportation" is that it is no longer legally considered "deportation" by name. It is still commonly referred to as deportation, of course, and everyone knows what someone means when they say "deportation." But in fact, a change in the laws in 1996 formally changed the name of the process for deporting someone from the United States to "removal."
You may think that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) deals with the removal of an individual. However, there is a different agency for removal: the Executive Office for Immigration Review. They deal with the court cases that pertain to removal, which are called "removal proceedings."
There are a variety of reasons why someone could be confronted with the prospect of removal. As we wrote about in a recent post, criminal history plays a major role in whether or not you are able to enter the country, let alone stay in it. Criminal acts may well cause the government to begin the removal proceedings through a "notice to appear."
However, it is important to also realize that you do have recourse when you are confronted with removal. There are hardship arguments and other waivers that you can utilize to defend yourself in removal proceedings.
Having said that, the removal process is a very complex and difficult animal to tame. Anyone who is being threatened with removal will need to consult an experienced immigration attorney to ensure their case is being dealt with properly. Statistics show that immigrations with attorney have a much higher success rate in removal proceedings. Your attorney can help you throughout this process.
Source: FindLaw, "The Removal Process," Accessed Aug. 11, 2015