One of the biggest fears of foreigners is to face deportation, as they don’t want to leave the life they have built in the United States behind. Foreigners can be removed from the country even if they have a Permanent Resident Card (Green Card). Generally speaking, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) can deport a person if they commit a crime or fraud, enter the country unlawfully or fail to renew their status.
The ICE can deport lawful residents of the United States if they commit certain crimes. There are many crimes that can cause the deportation of a person, especially when it comes to crimes of moral turpitude. In a nutshell, a person commits a moral turpitude crime if they do anything unlawful against a person, their property or the government. If a person commits any moral turpitude crime within 10 years of their lawful entry to the country, they are subject to deportation. Apart from these crimes, a person can be deported at any time if:
- They have an aggravated felony conviction
- They sell, exchange, use or possess any firearm or destructive device
- They commit any crime against children, including domestic violence
- They violate a protection order
- They violate religious freedom
- They are involved with terrorist activities or trafficking
- They commit any crimes related to controlled substances
- They encourage or help another foreigner to get into the U.S. unlawfully
A person can stay in the country if they commit a felony or a moral turpitude crime if the president or a governor pardons them. However, this is not easy to get. Also, a person who committed domestic violence could stay in the country if they acted in self-defense.
A person would receive a final removal order if they got their visa or other documentation by fraud. Fraudulent acts include marrying a U.S. citizen only to evade the immigration laws or submitting false documents in the visa or Green Card application. The Attorney General can waive the deportation of those who commit fraud to assist their child or spouse in entering the country
Unlawful entry or failure to change the status
The ICE will deport anyone who enters the United States without official permission. The same applies to those who fail to maintain the status in which they lawfully entered the country. Unlawful residents don’t have many rights regarding deportation, and sometimes they have to leave the country in less than 24 hours after receiving the deportation order.
The difference between those who have a permanent residence and those who entered the country illegally is that the latter do not have the right to a hearing before the ICE removes them. Lawful residents have the right to hire an attorney to help them with their defense and avoid deportation. An experienced lawyer will also know whether that person is eligible for a waiver, so in any case, it would be in the accused’s best interest to seek legal representation.