Deportation Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Deportation, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Deportation?

n. The act of banishing a foreigner from a country, usually to the country of origin. This may occur because the foreigner has a criminal record, lied on his/her entry documents, is in the country illegally as deemed by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, FBI or State Department officials.

History and Meaning of Deportation

Deportation, also known as banishment, is a legal process that involves removing a foreign national from a country, mostly because of the violation of immigration laws, commission of crimes, or fraud. The term "deportation" originated from the Latin word "deportare," meaning "to carry away." Deportation was first used in the United States in the late 1800s as a means of getting rid of unwanted foreigners.

Deportation became a vital tool in the hands of the government to regulate immigration after the Immigration Act of 1891. It empowered immigration officials to deny entry to people who didn't meet certain admission requirements or had criminal records. The implementation of deportation laws and procedures has only become more rigorous over time, with a focus on keeping the country safe from foreign threats while adhering to basic legal principles.

Examples of Deportation

  1. John illegally entered the US and was deported back to his country of origin.
  2. The immigrant was deported for violating the terms of his visa.
  3. The government may use deportation as a means of punishing immigrants with a criminal record.

Legal Terms Similar to Deportation

  1. Extradition - the legal process of returning a person to another state or country to face trial or punishment.
  2. Removal - the deportation of an individual who may be a foreign-born US citizen.
  3. Naturalization - the process whereby a foreign individual becomes a citizen in a new country.
  4. Asylum - the legal status given to individuals who flee persecution in their home country.
  5. Citizenship - being recognized as a member of a country with certain legal rights and duties.