Criminal Defense of Immigrants


§ 6.20 D. Accepting Early Removal

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Sometimes, a noncitizen client may decide that s/he would prefer to be deported as quickly as possible, instead of spending a number of years in criminal custody, followed by additional months or years in immigration detention.  The general rule is that sentence must be served before a noncitizen is transferred to immigration custody for removal hearings.  See § 6.21, infra.  Institutionally, there are a number of roadblocks to enabling a noncitizen to avoid criminal and immigration detention prior to removal.  However, there are a number of exceptions, including two forms of removal at criminal sentencing, see § § 6.22-6.23, infra, early release from prison to deportation, see § 6.26, infra, removal proceedings prior to release from criminal custody, see § 6.28, infra, and possibly others.  A noncitizen can also ask to be transferred to a prison in his or her home country.  See § 6.27, infra.  





Depending on the jurisdiction, a noncitizen may be able to request a stipulated order of removal from the DO, which would mean avoiding court. If that is not the case, counsel would need to make a written request for an earlier hearing, explaining that the client wants to be removed. This may or may not be possible. Counsel can call the clerk before writing any sort of motion to see if there is a specific slot available. Even after removal has been ordered, the noncitizen will not be removed until travel documents have been obtained and travel arrangements have been made. Counsel should ensure the client understands that attempting illegal reentry after removal forfeits any realistic chance of ever obtaining lawful status in the United States in the future. Thanks to Christina Powers, Florence Project.