5 Most Common Reasons for Deportation

Gaining entry into the U.S. as an immigrant, or even via a non-immigrant visa, requires patience and determination. It’s a significant accomplishment that sometimes can take years to complete.

Unfortunately, it’s also an accomplishment that is easily undone. Violating U.S. immigration regulations can result in the government deciding to begin deportation proceedings against you. These proceedings tend to move pretty quickly, and there aren’t many opportunities to tell your side of the story the right way.

So, you may be wondering what the most common reasons for deportation are and what the deportation process includes. Our De Castroverde Law Group team has put together this guide to help you understand the law and how to avoid trouble.

What Is Deportation?

Deportation is the formal process the U.S. government follows to remove a foreign national from the U.S. for breaking immigration law. Violations fall into different categories that can involve both criminal and non-criminal acts.

It’s important to remember that immigration authorities enforce immigration laws based on their interpretations of U.S. policy. Their decisions are subject to review by U.S. immigration judges, who are considered administrative law judges and appointed by the Department of Justice.

Deportation cases are heard in U.S. Immigration Court, and judges’ decisions can sometimes, but not always, be appealed to the U.S. Immigration Court and also pressed through the federal court system. And while it’s not common, some deportation cases do make their way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Most Common Reasons for Deportation

In the five years between 2017 and 2021, the Immigration Courts ordered the deportation of more than 700,000 people from the U.S. For this reason, it’s important to remember that your official entry to the U.S. has many obligations that will remain with you throughout your stay in the country. And just like with driving, federal law considers immigration a privilege, not a right.

Here are five of the most common reasons that people get deported:

Failing To Obey the Terms of Your Visa

The U.S. government provides temporary visas to foreign nationals for various reasons, such as to work with an employer’s sponsorship or attend school. If the conditions of your visa change, even if you did nothing to cause it, U.S. law considers this a violation of status, and it generally means you’re subject to deportation.

Moving Without Telling the Government

Green Card holders are required to report address changes to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services within 10 days of moving. This also applies to temporary residents here under the visa. Failing to report your change of address subjects you to immediate deportation.

Committing a Crime

Breaking U.S. law while on a visa or Green Card can also lead to deportation proceedings. While not every crime is a deportable offense, there are plenty that could land you in Immigration Court. Generally, the list covers convictions on various general crimes, such as crimes of moral turpitude, aggravated felonies, or failure to register as a sex offender; drug crimes; domestic violence, stalking, or child abuse; firearms offenses, such as unlawful ownership; and a variety of miscellaneous other criminal matters. However, only a small fraction of deportations are generally related to criminal offenses.

Crimes of moral turpitude are generally defined as fraud, theft, or intent to harm persons or things. This can extend to driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated. You may be able to argue that the crime you’ve been charged with doesn’t fit the definition of moral turpitude. Still, the experienced immigration attorneys at De Castroverde Law Group can help explain the law and precedent to see if that’s an option in our case.

Violating Immigration Laws

U.S. immigration law puts some specific requirements on paper that immigrants and non-immigrants must follow, and violating these laws can lead to deportation. Examples include entering into a fraudulent marriage, participating in smuggling immigrants into the U.S., voting illegally, or committing document fraud.

One common reason for deportation relates to becoming a “public charge” of the U.S. Generally speaking, Green Cards are contingent on proving that you can be self-sufficient and won’t require support from welfare or other programs for public assistance.

How an Attorney Can Help in Deportation Proceedings

Immigration law allows you to hire an attorney to represent you in deportation proceedings. However, the cost will be yours to bear, as the government doesn’t provide court-appointed attorneys to needy defendants.

Statistics show that having an attorney can be crucial in convincing an immigration judge not to order your removal. Experienced attorneys, such as those at De Castroverde Law, can help guide you through the deportation process at several levels.

First, attorneys will carefully review the history of your case, whether you’re here on a visa or possess a Green Card. They’ll work with you to understand the facts and advise you on gathering the evidence you need to build a defense. Attorneys working for you can also help explain the law and what to expect, as well as work with you to fill out various forms and keep track of deadlines. Their most important role is developing a defense against deportation charges and properly presenting it to the judge, using exhibits and testimony as needed.

Attorneys can also maintain lines of communication with government attorneys, which may help further explain your case’s circumstances with an eye toward a resolution.

Contact De Castroverde Law Group for Immigration Help

Our award-winning immigration attorneys at De Castroverde Law Group have extensive experience in all aspects of immigration law. These issues can be complicated, stressful, and downright exhausting. But an experienced attorney will save you time and money and improve your chances of a favorable outcome. Whether you’re seeking an immigrant visa for a spouse, family-based immigration law, or you’re facing deportation, our team can help. If you or someone you love needs an immigration attorney in the Las Vegas area, our team of attorneys at De Castroverde can help.

Photo Credit: another brick in the wall by Mitchell Haindfield is licensed with CC By 2.0