Understanding deportation


What is deportation?

  • Any alien found guilty of violating immigration laws can be deported.
  • An immigration judge must oversee the process and file for the removal in order for it to be a legal deportation.
  • Before an immigrant can be removed, the immigrant has a legal right to come before the court to plead their case.
  • The government must prove that the immigrant has indeed been deemed revocable.

Who and why can someone be deported?

American citizens who are not naturalized citizens cannot be deported. A naturalized citizen is an immigrant that has been in the country for over seven years, works and pays taxes, or immigrant military personnel granted naturalization for time of service. Immigrants here in the United States through a visa may be deported at any time for criminal activity or overstaying the amount of time designated by the visa.

Reasons for Revocation or Denaturalization of a Naturalized Citizen

  • Concealing information through the initial process of becoming a citizen
  • Subversive activities–trying to undermine or hurt the United States government through violent acts.
  • Obtaining membership in any organization that is considered a threat to the United States.
  • Dishonorable discharge from the military.

The U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act (I.N.A)

Those holding a non-immigrant visa or green card must follow the rules set by the I.N.A in order to keep their admission valid. Grounds for deportation:

  • Inadmissible during the arrival upon the United States.
  • Violating terms of visa or green card.
  • Conditional resident state (spouses, children and investors) has been terminated.
  • Smuggling illegal aliens into the United States.
  • Marriage fraud–those entering a marriage with the end result of receiving a green card.
  • Convicted of a crime considered to be immoral acts that are vile and shocking.
  • Convicted of a felony deemed as “aggravated.”
  • Conviction of any type of drug crime, or immigrant has admitted to having a drug problem.
  • Conviction of domestic violence, including child abandonment.
  • No written warning to the government about a change of address.

Coming back to the United States

An order of removal from the United States comes with dire consequences that could lead up to a permanent ban. The five-year ban is enforced when found inadmissible at the port of entry. However, if an immigration judge issued the removal at the end of Immigration Court, a 10-year ban from the country will be in place. If multiple deport orders have been issued, an immigration judge can invoke a 20-year ban. Permanent bans happen when an immigrant has been convicted of an aggravated felony, entered the United States without legal documentation or if the illegal alien tries to come back to the United States while underneath a ban.


Following the law and keeping to the truth can help maintain a citizenship bestowed upon an immigrant. However, if the immigrant is facing deportation, meeting with the government and showing documented proof to any questions they may have can help in resolving the issue before deportation occurs. If under a ban, do not try to re-enter until the ban is lifted and citizenship is restored.


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