[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.



  • Aguila, Jaime R. "Book Reviews: Decade of Betrayal: Mexican Repatriation in the 1930s. By Francisco E. Balderrama and Raymond Rodríguez." Journal of San Diego History. 52:3-4 (Summer-Fall 2006).
  • Balderrama, Francisco and Rodriguez, Raymond. Decade of Betrayal: Mexican Repatriation in the 1930s. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1995. ISBN 0826315755.
  • Campana, Aurélie. "Case Study: The Massive Deportation of the Chechen People: How and why Chechens were Deported." Online Encyclopedia of Mass Violence. November 2007. Accessed August 11, 2008.
  • Christensen, Peter. The Decline of Iranshahr: Irrigation and Environments in the History of the Middle East, 500 B.C. to A.D. 1500. Copenhagen, Denmark: Museum Tusculanum Press, 1993. ISBN 8772892595.
  • Conquest, Robert. The Nation Killers. New York: Macmillan, 1970. ISBN 0333105753
  • Daniels, Roger. Coming to America: A History of Immigration and Ethnicity in American Life. New York: HarperCollins, 2002. ISBN 006050577X
  • Dillman, Caroline Matheny. The Roswell Mills and A Civil War Tragedy: Excerpts From Days Gone by in Alpharetta and Roswell, Georgia. Vol. 1. Roswell, Ga.: Chattahoochee Press, 1996. ISBN 0963425307
  • Fischer, Ruth and Leggett, John C. Stalin and German Communism: A Study in the Origins of the State Party. Edison, N.J.: Transaction Publishers, 2006. ISBN 0878558225
  • Fragomen, Austin T. and Bell, Steven C. Immigration Fundamentals: A Guide to Law and Practice. New York: Practising Law Institute, 1996. ISBN 0872240932
  • García, Juan Ramon. Operation Wetback: The Mass Deportation of Mexican Undocumented Workers in 1954. Westport, Ct.: Greenwood Publishing Group, 1980. ISBN 0313213534.
  • Gibney,Matthew J. and Hansen, Randall. "Deportation and the Liberal State: The Involuntary Return of Asylum Seekers and Unlawful Migrants in Canada, the UK, and Germany." New Issues in Refugee Research: Working Paper Series No. 77. Geneva, Switzerland: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, 2003.
  • Gutiérrez, David G. Walls and Mirrors: Mexican Americans, Mexican Immigrants, and the Politics of Ethnicity. Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 1995. ISBN 0520202198
  • Hing, Bill Ong. Defining America Through Immigration Policy. Philadelphia, Pa.: Temple University Press, 2004. ISBN 1592132332
  • Hitt, Michael D. Charged with Treason: The Ordeal of 400 Mill Workers During Military Operations in Roswell, Georgia, 1864-1865. Monroe, N.Y.: Library Research Associates, 1992. ISBN 0912526556
  • International Law Commission. United Nations. Yearbook of the International Law Commission 1996: Report of the Commission to the General Assembly on the Work of Its 48th Session. New York: United Nations Publications, 2000. ISBN 9211336007
  • Jaimoukha, Amjad M. The Chechens: A Handbook. Florence, Ky.: Routledge, 2005. ISBN 0415323282
  • Kennedy, David M. Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945. Cambridge, Mass.: Oxford University Press, 1999. ISBN 0195038347
  • Kleveman, Lutz. The New Great Game: Blood and Oil in Central Asia. Jackson, Tenn.: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2003. ISBN 0871139065
  • "The Law of Necessity As Applied in the Bisbee Deportation Case." Arizona Law Review. 3:2 (1961).
  • "Lewis Attacks Deportation of Leaders by West Virginia Authorities." New York Times. July 17, 1921.
  • Lindquist, John H. and Fraser, James. "A Sociological Interpretation of the Bisbee Deportation." Pacific Historical Review. 37:4 (November 1968).
  • López, Ian F. Haney. Racism on Trial: The Chicano Fight for Justice. New ed. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press, 2004. ISBN 0674016297
  • Martin, MaryJoy. The Corpse On Boomerang Road: Telluride's War on Labor, 1899-1908. Lake City, Colo.: Western Reflections Publishing Co., 2004. ISBN 1932738029
  • Mata, Albert G. "Operation Wetback: The Mass Deportation of Mexican Undocumented Workers in 1954 by Juan Ramon García." Contemporary Sociology. 1:5 (September 1983)
  • Mawdsley, Evan. The Stalin Years: The Soviet Union 1929-1953. Manchester, England: Manchester University Press, 2003. ISBN 0719063779
  • McKay, Robert R. "The Federal Deportation Campaign in Texas: Mexican Deportation from the Lower Rio Grande Valley during the Great Depression." Borderlands Journal. (Fall 1981).
  • Naimark, Norman M. Fires of Hatred: Ethnic Cleansing in Twentieth-Century Europe. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2001. ISBN 0674009940
  • Nurbiyev, Aslan. "Relocation of Chechen 'Genocide' Memorial Opens Wounds." Agence France Press. June 4, 2008.
  • Silverberg, Louis G. "Citizens' Committees: Their Role in Industrial Conflict." Public Opinion Quarterly. 5:1 (March 1941).
  • Suggs, Jr., George G. Colorado's War on Militant Unionism: James H. Peabody and the Western Federation of Miners. 2nd ed. Norman, Okla.: University of Oklahoma Press, 1991. ISBN 0806123966
  • President's Mediation Commission. Report on the Bisbee Deportations Made by the President's Mediation Commission to the President of the United States. Washington, D.C.: President's Mediation Commission, November 6, 1917.
  • Valenciana, Christine. "Unconstitutional Deportation of Mexican Americans During the 1930s: A Family History and Oral History." Multicultural Education. Spring 2006.

See also

Search another word or see deportationon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2015, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature