Here are 7 things you need to consider or do before you meet your Deportation Officer (DO) for the very first time.
1. Arrive early: You’re probably not going to be the only person reporting to the Deportation Officer, so find out what time the offices open and try and get there at least 30 minutes earlier.
2. Confirm the office location: Make sure you know the exact location of the place where you are meant to report. You can find this out here: http://www.ice.gov/contact/ero/. Also, call the number underneath the address to confirm that it’s the location you’re meant to report to.
3. Leave electronics in your car: Some buildings require the people in deportation proceedings to be searched and then pass through metal detectors. I really hate this process. It’s a pain in the gluteus maximus but what can you do? It’s best to leave your electronics in your car. By electronics, I mean Cell phones, iPods, iPads, Walkmans, boom boxes, record Players, etc.
4. Carry your documents & ID: Make sure you carry your Drivers License or some form of ID with you. The officer may ask to see it if that is your first visit. He or she will also ask to see your deportation papers, so it would be kinda nice if you took them with you. The meetings are typically really short; it’s the wait that takes an eternity. So far I have had 2 meetings with my Deportation Officer and they have each lasted a maximum of 5 minutes.
5. Carry a book: Is there a 900-page book you have been dying to read? Take it with you, you will probably need it because of the wait. Here are some suggestions: Atlas Shrugged, Gone with the Wind, or something you can identify with, like Les Misérables. If you have an antisocial disposition, then a pair of shades and earplugs will come in handy, just in case the guy or gal sitting next to you has the urge to talk your ear off.
6. Parking fee: I haven’t had to pay for parking yet, but carrying some extra cash won’t hurt.
7. Be nice: On your first visit, you will probably find something to be pissed off about. I know I did. When you get pissed off, I implore you to try and keep your anger to yourself. I hate to break it to you, but as a person in deportation proceedings, you pretty much have very few rights. Don’t exacerbate your situation by giving the officers a reason to make your life miserable.
Now that you have considered those seven things, here is a breakdown of what I have seen happen whenever I visited my Deportation Officer. Your experience will probably differ from mine, but this is how it typically goes down when your name gets called: After you hand your ID and Deportation papers to the officer, he or she will put your information into his or her computer.
You will then be asked if you live at the same location that’s on your deportation papers. It is best to always keep Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) updated every time you move to a new place of residence. They not only want to keep tabs on you, they also want to know where to send important documents that pertain to your deportation.
Here is a link to the form you need to fill if or when you have to move (http://1.usa.gov/ZOAdMQ). The officer will also call the immigration court’s toll free phone number (1-800-898-7180) to find out whether or not your first court date has been set. After that, he or she will give you the date of your next visit and then send you on your merry way.
So there you have it. Those were the 7 things I wish someone had told me before I met my Deportation Officer for the very first time. I hope they give you an idea of what to expect when you go there. I wish you well on your first meeting with your DO.