Can I travel within the United States if I am in deportation proceedings? Hi, I’m Jim Hacking, Immigration Lawyer practicing law throughout the United States out of our office here in st. Louis, Missouri. Today’s question comes from the Immigrant Home Facebook group, and it’s from Joel. And Joel wants to know, “If I’ve applied for asylum and been denied by the asylum office, and had my case referred to the immigration court, and I have a pending court date, and I have a real ID driver’s license and a passport, can I travel inside the United States while I’m in deportation? And the answer to this question, I believe Joel, is yes. I think you should be fine. You’re already in removal, so it’s not like they can put you in removal a second time. So how would this work? Well, I would carry those documents that you mentioned the real ID driver’s license and the passport, but I would also carry with you the documentation that you’re already in removal.
So you want to bring your notice to appear. You want to bring the notice of your next master calendar hearing, it’d be on that printout that you received from the court, so that you can show anybody who asks, and of course only if they ask, you’re not going to just whip this out and show it to every gate agent and ticket agent that you run into or TSA agent, you’re just going to hold it in case they ask something. But I believe that you should be fine as long as you’re traveling within the United States. So if you want to go from Seattle to San Francisco by plane, or Seattle to New York, or Miami to St. Louis, all that should be just fine. So I think Joel, you should be fine, as long as you bring those things with you.
Now, if you’re someone who’s in the United States without status, and you’re not already in removal, then I would say, it’s not a good idea to travel, it’s not a good idea to go to the airport. That’s a chance to run into law enforcement and things can unravel from there. So I would recommend not doing that, but as far as Joel, if you’re already in removal, they can’t put you in removal a second time, and it’s unlikely they’re going to take you into custody unless some crime has occurred or some other serious reason why they would want to put you into a custody.
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