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Deportation Basics

When the U.S. government discovers that a person has entered the United States illegally, overstayed a visa, or otherwise violated U.S. immigration or criminal laws, it will likely initiate removal proceedings against that person. The process does not happen overnight. Before a non-citizen can be deported, the government must prove that deportation is necessary. This means that the non-citizen has an opportunity to argue that she should be allowed to stay, but she cannot do that effectively without a good understanding of the deportation process. This section gives an overview of removal and discusses the consequences of illegally reentering the U.S. after removal.

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