Do people being deported have to pay their own way to return to their country of origin?
The process for deportation is complicated and subject to changing principles and ideas. Once it has been determined that a person is to be deported (meaning, they have had the hearing and it is to be determined that they are to leave), they will be taken to a federal detention center. There is one in Buffalo, New York, for example. At this point, the process states that the person will be escorted on a commercial flight to the nation of their passport. Their passport is held until they have boarded the flight and then, it is given to the person in question. If this cannot be arranged, then at the federal detention center, the government charters a flight to that person's country. Since the government escorts and arranges the flight, it does not specify that it is at the deportee's cost.
In my country, not only did the state pay the transportation cost but it also provided a certain amount of money for the "rejectees" (especially those with families) to get started over again in their homeland. Laws concerning these procedures have been revamped as expenditures have reeled completely out of control. More recent laws are dissuasive by making the refugee status for political reasons (and the status for those seeking it) definitely less attractive. For example, the cost of a return ticket is automatically deducted from a person's salary - that is, of course, if the person has stayed long enough to work and earn money.