What Are the Grounds for Deportation for Aliens?

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

Inadmissible at Time of Entry or of Adjustment of Status or Violates Status

  • Any alien who at the time of entry or adjustment of status was within one or more of the classes of aliens inadmissible by the law existing at such time is deportable
  • Any alien who is present in the United States in violation of this chapter or any other law of the United States, or whose nonimmigrant visa (or other documentation authorizing admission into the United States as a nonimmigrant) has been revoked under section 1201(i) of this title, is deportable
  • Any alien who was admitted as a nonimmigrant and who has failed to maintain the nonimmigrant status in which the alien was admitted or to which it was changed under section 1258 of this title, or to comply with the conditions of any such status, is deportable
  • Any alien whom the Secretary of Health and Human Services certifies has failed to comply with terms, conditions, and controls that were imposed under section 1182(g) of this title is deportable
  • 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 have had such status terminated under such respective section is deportable
  • Any alien who (before the date of entry, at the time of any entry, or within 5 years of the date of any entry) knowingly has encouraged, induced, assisted, abetted, or aided any other alien to enter or to try to enter the United States in violation of law is deportable
  • An alien shall be considered to be deportable as having procured a visa or other documentation by fraud (within the meaning of section 1182(a)(6)(C)(i) of this title) and to be in the United States in violation of this chapter (within the meaning of subparagraph (B)) if-

(i) the alien obtains any admission into the United States with an immigrant visa or other documentation procured based on a marriage entered into less than 2 years before such admission of the alien and which, within 2 years after any admission of the alien in the United States, shall be judicially annulled or terminated, unless the alien establishes to the satisfaction of the Attorney General that such marriage was not contracted to evade any provisions of the immigration laws, or

(ii) it appears to the satisfaction of the Attorney General that the alien has failed or refused to fulfill the alien’s marital agreement which in the opinion of the Attorney General was made to procure the alien’s admission as an immigrant.

  • Any alien who-

(I) is convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude committed within five years (or 10 years in the case of an alien provided lawful permanent resident status under section 1255(j) of this title) after the date of admission, and

(II) is convicted of a crime for which a sentence of one year or longer may be imposed

is deportable.

  • Any alien who at any time after admission is convicted of two or more crimes involving moral turpitude, not arising out of a single scheme of criminal misconduct, regardless of whether confined therefor and regardless of whether the convictions were in a single trial, is deportable
  • Any alien who is convicted of an aggravated felony at any time after admission is deportable
  • Any alien who is convicted of a violation of section 758 of title 18(relating to high-speed flight from an immigration checkpoint) is deportable
  • Any alien who is convicted under section 2250 of title 18is deportable
  • Any alien who at any time after admission has been convicted of a violation of (or a conspiracy or attempt to violate) any law or regulation of a State, the United States, or a foreign country relating to a controlled substance (as defined in section 802 of title 21), other than a single offense involving possession for one’s own use of 30 grams or less of marijuana, is deportable.
  • Any alien who is, or at any time after admission has been, a drug abuser or addict is deportable
  • Any alien who at any time after admission is convicted under any law of purchasing, selling, offering for sale, exchanging, using, owning, possessing, or carrying, or of attempting or conspiring to purchase, sell, offer for sale, exchange, use, own, possess, or carry, any weapon, part, or accessory which is a firearm or destructive device (as defined in section 921(a) of title 18) in violation of any law is deportable.

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

Why Would U.S. Government Detain Immigrants?

  • The U.S. government has used detention with increasing frequency as a means of dealing with undocumented or otherwise removable immigrants after their arrest
  • The government will typically detain an immigrant because it believes either that he or she is a “flight risk” and might move to another location within the U.S. or that he or she poses a public safety threat
  • Often detention allows the government to ensure an immigrant’s appearance before the Immigration Court
  • There could be many reasons why someone can be detained by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its enforcement arm, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). These include, but are not limited to the person having:
    • Committed a crime, or multiple crimes
    • Arrived at the border without a visa before formally applying for asylum or refugee status
    • An outstanding removal (deportation) order on record, either pending or past due, or
    • Missed prior immigration hearing dates

When a friend or a family member has been placed in detention, it can be difficult to try to discover information on the person’s location.

Steps to Follow After Learning About the Detention:

  • Use the ICE detainee locator website to locate the person
  • You can search by Alien Number
  • A green card or work permit will have this number
  • You can also try searching by the person’s date of birth, country of birth, and full name as it appears in the ICE’s system
  • Consider using different spellings too
  • If the detainee is located in an ICE facility, your next step is to try to call his or her deportation officer
  • You will need to explain who you are and your relationship with the detainee.
  • The officer can tell you how to call or visit the detainee or pay for the detainee to be able to call you, and how you can send any needed items
  • Do not divulge information about the person’s country of citizenship or immigration status (or the lack thereof) in the United States
  • If the ICE officer refuses to speak with you, consider  hiring an experienced immigration attorney to assist you in tracking down the deportation officer and maintaining lines of communication
  • If the detainee requires regular medical care or medication, an attorney can ensure he or she receives it
  • You need to act very quickly, as a detainee can be removed within a few days or even hours, of the initial detention

What is the Role of the Deportation Officer?

  • Each detainee is assigned a deportation officer
  • The officer has the power to offer voluntary departure, stipulated removal, or some other form of release from detention
  • Accepting a voluntary departure, for instance, though it doesn’t leave an order of removal on the person’s record, can result in the detainee forgoing any relief to which he or she may be entitled, such as asylum or cancellation of removal
  • There may be other available options and forms of relief (such as Temporary Protected Status, Deferred Action for Childhood Removals, or Cancellation of Removal) that an attorney might recommend that the deportation officer has not mentioned

Steps for Getting the Person Out of Detention While Awaiting Further Action

  • If you would like to get the detainee released, the first thing you need to do is find out whether ICE has set a bond
  • The amount of money paid to ICE guarantees that the detainee will show up for future court dates and obey whatever order the judge ultimately issues.
  • It is similar to bail for criminal offenses
  • However, under the law, some people are not eligible for bond and must remain in the detention facility until an immigration judge decides whether they should be removed (deported)
  • If the ICE deportation officer tells you that the detainee “has no bond,” ask the officer whether that means the amount of the bond has not been determined yet, or whether it means the detainee is ineligible for bond
  • If you’re told that the detainee is not eligible for bond, you might want to consult with an immigration lawyer to check the veracity of the statement
  • If the detainee is eligible for a bond, ICE will tell you the amount it wants you to pay
  • If you can’t pay that amount, or if you think it’s too high, you or the detainee’s attorney can make a motion for a “bond hearing.” As every detainee is entitled to a bond hearing
  • You don’t have to wait for your first scheduled court date to have the judge decide about bond—you can ask the court to schedule your bond hearing soon
  • At the bond hearing, the immigration judge may either find that the detainee is subject to mandatory detention, or that the detainee can be released on a bond
  • If you are challenging the amount set by ICE, the judge will determine how much the bond will be
  • The judge will also want to know whether the detainee is likely to show up to future immigration court hearings and whether the detainee would be a danger to the community if released from the detention facility
  • The minimum bond amount is set at $1,500 (N.A. § 236(a)(2)(A)), but it can go much higher than that, up to $20,000 or more
  • If you are wanting to pay this on the detainee’s behalf, you will need to have legal status in the U.S. and bring photo identification
  • You will also need to arrange for the person’s pickup, as not all detention centers will give rides to the nearest bus station or airport
  • After the bond hearing, the immigration judge will set a “Master Calendar” or initial hearing date.
  • At the Master Calendar hearing, the immigrant will answer the government’s allegations and request any forms of relief to which he or she may be entitled. If the person claims some form of relief, the judge will set an “Individual Hearing” date. (Individual Hearing means the immigrant’s case is the only one scheduled for that time on that day.)

Please Note: The entire removal process can take years, or a few months, depending on the kind of relief that is potentially available for the detainee. It will also depend on whether the court docket is crowded, and other factors. An immigrant to whom the judge does not allow release on bond can potentially spend a long time in detention—a situation worth avoiding.

What an Attorney Can Do in This Situation?

An attorney might be able to obtain the person’s release by filing what’s called a habeas corpus action in federal court, claiming that such lengthy detention is unconstitutional.

News of the detention of a friend or family member is disconcerting and extremely stressful. Consider hiring an experienced immigration attorney to assist you in tracking down the deportation officer and maintaining lines of communication during this time.

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.