What Things Can Cause Deportation Prior to Gaining U.S. Citizenship?


Quick Answer

As of 2015, all classes of immigrants who violate U.S. immigration laws are subject to deportation, according to Nolo. The United States most commonly deports immigrants who commit aggravated felonies and crimes of moral turpitude. Immigrants who commit a crime more than five years after entry into the United States are only subject to deportation if they have a record of previous convictions.

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What Things Can Cause Deportation Prior to Gaining U.S. Citizenship?
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Full Answer

U.S. immigration law lists crimes such as theft, spousal abuse, larceny, fraud, and assault with the intent to rob or kill as crimes of moral turpitude, explains Nolo. The law excepts petty offenses, which are defined as crimes that carry a maximum sentence of less than one year in jail, from inclusion in the category of moral turpitude crimes. Immigration law defines aggravated felonies more broadly than criminal law, so an immigrant convicted of money laundering, sexual abuse of a minor, drug or firearms trafficking, tax evasion or any of several other crimes may be deported. The law recognizes no time limit on deportation for aggravated felonies, but may allow an exception for immigrants who prove they would be tortured on return to their native country.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services provides an exhaustive list of actions and offenses that are cause for deportation, as noted on its website. Immigrants who attempt to smuggle an alien into the United States, and those who commit marriage fraud, may be subject to removal. Document fraud, failure to register and false representation of citizenship are grounds for deportation.

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