deportation

deportation

[dee-pawr-tey-shuhn, -pohr-]
deportation, expulsion of an alien from a country by an act of its government. The term is not applied ordinarily to sending a national into exile or to committing one convicted of crime to an overseas penal colony (historically called transportation). In international law the right to send an alien to the country to which he or she owes allegiance (or to any country that will accept him or her) derives from a government's sovereignty. In the United States, deportation is the responsibility of the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement of the Dept. of Homeland Security.

Except under the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 there was no American deportation law until the enactment in 1882 of a statute aimed at certain Chinese immigrants. The class of deportable aliens was subsequently enlarged several times, coming to include persons who before their entry into the United States were insane, feeble-minded, illiterate, or diseased in various ways. Many foreigners suspected of involvement in radical political activity were deported during the "Red Scare" of 1919. The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 removed the statute of limitations on any kind of deportation.

The largest group of deported persons are those who have entered the country illegally. In the 1980s and 1990s expulsion of some of the numerous refugees from such Caribbean countries as Cuba and Haiti raised controversy. A deported alien cannot reenter the United States without special permission from the attorney general.

Deportation, not to be confused with extradition, generally means the expulsion of someone from a place or country. The expulsion of natives is also called banishment, exile, or penal transportation. Deportation is an ancient practice: Khosrau I, Sassanid King of Persia, deported 292,000 citizens, slaves, and conquered people to the new city of Ctesiphon in 542 C.E.. England deported religious objectors and criminals to America in large numbers before 1730.

External deportation

Almost all countries reserve the right of deportation of foreigners, even those who are longtime residents. In general, deportation is reserved for foreigners who commit serious crimes, enter the country illegally, overstay their visa, or face trial by another country (see extradition). It can also be used on non-criminal visitors and foreign residents who are considered to be a threat to the country. Deportation is generally done directly by the government's executive apparatus rather than by order or authority of a court, and as such is often subject to a simpler legal process (or none), with reduced or no right to trial, legal representation or appeal. For example, in the 1930s, mass deportations were ordered by the executive branch of the U.S. government which led to the removal of up to 2 million Mexicans and Mexican Americans from the United States. In 1954, the executive branch of the U.S. government implemented Operation Wetback, a program created in response to public hysteria about immigration and immigrants. Operation Wetback led to the deportation of nearly 1.3 million Mexican workers.

Article 18 of the United Nations' Draft Code of Crimes Against the Peace and Security of Mankind declares "large scale" arbitrary or forcible deportation to be a crime against humanity.

Deportation often requires a specific process that must be validated by a court or senior government official. It should therefore not be confused with administrative removal, which is the process of a country refusing to allow an individual to enter that country.

Internal deportation

Deportation can also happen within a state, when (for example) an individual or a group of people is forcibly resettled to a different part of the country. If ethnic groups are affected by this, it may also be referred to as population transfer. The rationale is often that these groups might assist the enemy in war or insurrection. For example, the American state of Georgia deported 400 female mill workers during the Civil War on the suspicion they were Northern sympathizers.

During World War II, Volga Germans, Chechens, and others in the Soviet Union were deported by Joseph Stalin (see Population transfer in the Soviet Union), with some estimating the number of deaths from the deportation to be as high as 1 in 3. The European Parliament recognized this as an act of genocide on February 26, 2004. Many Japanese and Japanese Americans on the West Coast were deported in the United States of America by President Franklin Roosevelt (see Japanese American internment).

In the 19th century, the federal government of the United States (particularly during the administration of President Andrew Jackson) deported numerous Native American tribes. The most infamous of these deportations became known as the Trail of Tears. American state and local authorities also practiced deportation of undesirables, criminals, union organizers, and others. In the late 19th and early 20th century, deportation of union members and labor leaders was not uncommon during strikes or labor disputes. For an example, see the Bisbee Deportation.

Notes

References

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