What happens after an order of removal becomes final?
If you had a Deportation/Removal Proceedings hearing, in which you were not issued any form of immigration relief, the Immigration Judge likely ordered you to be deported from the United States. Also, if you did not attend your final hearing, the Immigration Judge likely ordered you removed in absentia, meaning "in your absence".
After the Order of Removal, issued in your Deportation/Removal Proceedings, becomes final, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is supposed to deport you within 90 days, although due to limited resources, they may not start the process immediately. It is up to ICE to begin the removal process, and you have no specific duty to do anything until you have been notified by ICE.
Is ICE looking for me?
If you are not in detention, ICE will send what is known as a "Bag and Baggage" letter (Form I-166) demanding that you report to a local ICE facility. Essentially, it asks you to turn yourself at a particular time and date so that you can be deported. You will be told to bring your passport and other documents, and you will be allowed a small piece of luggage to carry personal items. After you receive this letter, it means that you have a legal duty to report for removal as directed.
If you report as directed with your documents and baggage, then you will be taken into custody or detained until the government arranges to send you back to your home country.
For those countries with many deportees, such as Mexico, arrangements are done quickly and mass deportations take place several times each week. If you are from a country that does not have diplomatic relations with the U.S., travel arrangements could take much longer.
If you have received a final order of removal, it is important that you act quickly to determine if there are other means for you to stay in the U.S. Contact our experienced Los Angeles immigration and removal attorneys for your free initial consultation.