Deportation Law and Legal Definition

Deportation is a removal of an immigrant from the country. It is often done due to crimes committed or a threat posed by the immigrant. The formal removal of an alien from the United States may be made when the alien has violated the immigration laws. Deportation is ordered by an immigration judge without any punishment being imposed.

Prior to April 1997, deportation and exclusion were separate removal procedures. The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 consolidated these procedures. After April 1, 1997, aliens in and admitted to the United States may be subject to removal based on deportability. Now called Removal, this function is managed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.