A recent article published by CNN explains how Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deports immigrants from the United States. ICE Air Operations is the division of ICE that arranges air transportation for immigrants to return to their home countries after they have been ordered deported. Last year, ICE chartered planes to fly over 110,000 people back home following deportation proceedings. All passengers are handcuffed and ICE agents patrol the aisles of the plane throughout the flight. Additionally, another 5,800 deported individuals were flown to their countries via commercial air flights. While most deported individuals are flown to Central America, particularly to Guatemala, followed by Honduras and El Salvador, ICE agents flew deported individuals to 185 countries last year. ICE Air also may fly detained individuals to immigrant detention centers across the U.S. Some individuals may be flown to border towns and then bused across the border to their native countries. This is particularly the case with Mexico, where ICE delivers the highest number of deported individuals each year. Domestic flight destinations include major U.S. cities such as Las Vegas, San Francisco, Seattle, and Denver, to name only a few. There are smaller U.S. cities that also serve as ICE Air hubs. ICE Air has five contracts to charter up to ten flights for routine transports, each of which can hold 135 detained individuals. If an immigrant who needs to be returned to his or her home country due to deportation is a serious criminal or violent offender, ICE may use a small jet to transport the individual. It costs the U.S. government almost $2,000, on average, to transport a deported person to his or her home country. The cost of a single flight chartered by ICE is about $7,785 per flight hour. While the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Office of the Inspector General has criticized ICE in the past for chartering flights that were not full, ICE claims that if it waited to deport individuals until flights were full, it would continue to incur daily costs of detaining those individuals, which is even more expensive. Individuals who are detained and/or facing deportation need an experienced California immigration attorney who can assist them with this often complex process. At Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C., we know how to stand up for the rights of those who are legally entitled to remain in the U.S. Call us today at (510) 756-4468 and schedule an appointment with one of our deportation defense lawyers, and learn how we can assist you.