How to Determine Whether Someone Has Been Deported

By Barbara Howard ; Updated March 21, 2017
Person holding sign
"we are all immigrants" sign image by Christopher Martin from Fotolia.com

Deportation is the formal removal of a foreign national for violation of immigration laws. The best ways to find out if someone has been deported is to contact an immigration detention center or obtain public records. The removal process is handled by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE. Reasons for deportation include working without authorization, failing to notify ICE of a change of address, and criminal or terrorist activities.

Find out if a Notice to Appear (NTA) has been filed in Immigration Court. The federal agencies authorized 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 50 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 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.

Contact the immigration detention center. 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.

If you suspect that someone has been detained by immigration authorities, you can contact one of the Detention and Removal Operations field offices for information about detained individuals. A list of the field offices can be found at the official ICE website.

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.

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.