What Are the Grounds for Deportation for Aliens?

U.S. law contains a long list of grounds for non-citizens or immigrants to be deported (removed) back to their country of origin.

An Alien Can Also be Deported for the Following Crimes:

  • Miscellaneous crimes
  • Crimes of domestic violence, stalking, or violation of protection order, crimes against children
  • Trafficking
  • Failure to register and falsification documents
  • Document Fraud
  • Falsely Claiming Citizenship
  • Security and related grounds
  • Public Charge
  • Unlawful Voting

You Can Find More Details about the aforementioned section here

If you are looking for useful Information for Detainees’ Families and Friends, you can find it here

However, someone with a green card (lawful permanent residence) can, upon committing certain acts or crimes, become deportable from the United States.

“Any alien with permanent resident status on a conditional basis under section 1186a of this title (relating to conditional permanent resident status for certain alien spouses and sons and daughters) or under section 1186b of this title (relating to conditional permanent resident status for certain alien entrepreneurs, spouses, and children) who has had such status terminated under such respective section is deportable.”

What is the Difference Between Deportability and Inadmissibility?

  • The grounds of inadmissibility usually applies to first-time applicants for visas or green cards
  • However, in rare situations, even green card holders can face inadmissibility
  • For people who spend 180 continuous days or more outside the U.S
  • Leave the U.S. during removal proceedings
  • Have committed a crime
  • Anyone engaged in illegal activity outside the U.S., can be questioned by U.S. border officials upon their attempted return, and their records checked, to see whether they’ve become inadmissible?

Who Can Be Removed Based on Grounds of Deportability, Even With a Green Card?

A green card holder may be deportable from the U.S. if he or she:

  • Was inadmissible at the time of U.S. entry or of adjustment of status
  • Had violated the terms of his or her visa, green card, or another status
  • Had conditional permanent resident status (applicable to certain spouses, sons, and daughters of U.S. citizens as well as investor/entrepreneurs, with their spouses, and children) but this status was terminated for some reason
  • Before, during, or within five years of the date of any U.S. entry, knowingly helped smuggle any other alien trying to enter the United States
  • Committed marriage fraud
  • Got married less than two years before getting a U.S. green card on that basis, then had the marriage annulled or terminated within the following two years, unless the immigrant can prove that the marriage was not a fraud, meant to evade any provision of the immigration laws
  • Is convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude that was committed within five years after the date of U.S. admission (or ten years if the person received a green card as a criminal informant) and is punishable by a sentence of at least one year
  • Has been convicted of two or more crimes involving moral turpitude at any time after U.S. admission, where the two crimes did not arise out of a single scheme of misconduct
  • Has been convicted of an aggravated felony at any time after U.S. admission
  • Has been convicted of high-speed flight from an immigration checkpoint
  • Fails to register as a sex offender
  • Has been convicted of a drug crime (or a conspiracy or attempt to commit one), whether in the U.S. or another country, at any time after U.S. admission
  • There’s an exception for a single offense involving possession for the personal use of 30 grams or less of marijuana
  • Is, or at any time after U.S. admission has been, a drug abuser or addict. No actual court conviction is needed to be deportable under this section
  • Has been convicted of illegally buying, selling, possessing, or engaging in other transactions concerning firearms, weapons, or destructive devices, at any time after U.S. admission
  • Has been convicted of committing, or conspiring to commit espionage, sabotage, treason, or sedition, if punishable by at least five years in prison
  • Has violated the Military Selective Service Act or the Trading with the Enemy Act.
  • Has violated certain travel and documentation restrictions or imported aliens for immoral purposes
  • Has been convicted of domestic violence, stalking, child abuse, child neglect, or child abandonment, at any time after U.S. admission
  • Has violated the portion of a protective order that’s meant to stop credible threats of violence, repeated harassment, or bodily injury
  • Has committed or conspired to commit human trafficking inside or outside the U.S. or has apparently been a knowing aider, abettor, assister, conspirator, or colluder with someone else in severe forms of human trafficking; or who is the trafficker’s spouse, son, or daughter and, within the past five years, knowingly received financial or other benefits from the illicit activity
  • Failed to advise U.S. immigration authorities, in writing, of a change of address within ten days of the move, unless the person can prove that such failure was reasonably excusable or not willful
  • Has been convicted of providing false information in connection with a requirement to register with U.S. immigration authorities or of other violations relating to fraud and misuse of visas, permits, and other entry documents
  • Has received a final order of deportation for document fraud, forgery, counterfeiting, or related violations
  • Falsely represents himself or herself as a U.S. citizen in order to gain any immigration or other benefit
  • An exception is made if the person’s parents (natural or adoptive) are or were U.S. citizens, the person lived in the U.S. before age 16, and the person reasonably believed himself or herself to be a U.S. citizen
  • Is engaged, or at any time after admission engages in espionage, sabotage, or violations or evasions of any law prohibiting export of goods, technology, or sensitive information
  • Or engage in any other criminal activity that is a danger to public safety or national security, or acts in opposition to, or attempts to control or overthrow the U.S. government by force, violence, or other unlawful means
  • Has engaged in or appears likely to engage in terrorist activity, or has incited terrorist activity
  • Is a representative a terrorist organization or group that endorses or espouses terrorist activity
  • Is a member of a terrorist organization, or endorses or espouses terrorist activity or persuades others to do so
  • Has received military-type training from or on behalf of a terrorist organization
  • The terrorist’s spouse or child could be deportable if the relevant activity took place within the last five years
  • By being present in the U.S., would create potentially serious adverse foreign policy consequences
  • Participated in Nazi persecution, genocide, torture, or extrajudicial killings, severe violations of religious freedom, or recruitment or use of child soldiers
  • Has voted in violation of any federal, state, or local law. An exception is made for people who, based on parentage, reasonably believed themselves to be U.S. citizens

Special Note About Smuggling Noncitizens into the U.S. and Its Possible Legal Consequences:

According to I.N.A. Section 274(a)(1)(a): anyone who helps bring or attempt to bring a noncitizen into the U.S. at some no designated place without inspection by a U.S. official at a border, port, or other points of entry, is committing a crime

  • Escorting someone across the desert is the classic violation of this section
  • The mode of transport doesn’t matter; the law criminalizes smuggling action that takes place “in any manner whatsoever.”
  • Penalties under Section 274(a)(1)(a) can include a fine under Title 18 of the U.S. Code, a prison term of up to ten years, or both. The punishment gets multiplied by the number of people smuggled
  • If a person gets injured as a result of the crime, the penalty can be increased to a 20-year prison term; and if someone dies as a result, the prison term can be extended to life
  • Section 274(a)(2) makes it a crime to, knowingly or in reckless disregard of the fact that the person lacks prior official authorization to enter or live in the U.S., bring or attempt to bring that person into the country
  • Penalties can include a fine under Title 18 of the U.S. Code, a prison term of up to one year, or both. Again, the penalties can be multiplied by the number of violations

What is The Timeline for Deportation?

  • Even if the immigration authorities believe that you are deportable, you will not be deported immediately
  • In most cases (unless, for example, there is an outstanding order of removal in your file), you have a right to defend your case in immigration court
  • For some types of deportation, the law may provide a legal forgiveness

Consider hiring an experienced immigration attorney to assist you in tracking down the deportation officer and maintaining lines of communication during this time. Deportation of a loved one is stressful and anxiety-provoking.

You can fill out this contact form and schedule your consultation with one of our attorneys, or

Schedule a Consultation 469-994-9407 to discuss your options.