Removal, commonly referred to as deportation, is the action taken when someone is deemed to be in this country without proper documentation. It occurs for many reasons: overstaying a non-immigrant visa, entering the country without authorization, criminal convictions while a permanent resident. Only citizenship is an absolute bar to removal.
The United States government recognizes that there are millions of people in this country without valid documents. Many are fearful to return to their own countries. Some fear persecution by their government. Others fear harm by another party from which their government or law enforcement agency cannot protect them. Recent changes in immigration laws have made it difficult for people to fulfill the necessary requirements to avoid removal. Many immigrants may not know about the changes in procedures or may have been misguided in the past.