Deportation is usually referred to as “removal” and occurs when the Federal Government removes an immigrant from the United States for violations of immigration or criminal laws. Once deported, an immigrant may lose the right to return to the United States for life, even as a visitor. Deportation involves a trial, where the immigrant has legal rights, including the right to challenge the grounds of removal.

Pursuant to the section § 237 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) people located within one or more of the following categories may be subject to removal proceedings:

1. Individuals that are inadmissible according to immigration laws in effect at the time of entry to the U.S. or at the time of adjustment of status, such as:

  • termination of conditional residence;
  • Green Card holders who remain outside the U.S. for more than 1 year without obtaining a reentry permit;
  • working with the tourist or B-1 visa;
  • having engaged in marriage fraud to gain lawful permanent residency;
  • remaining in the United States after the expiration of the work visa or any other visa (Visa overstay).


2. Convictions for a Crime Involving Moral turpitude (CIMT) make an immigration inadmissible to the United States, with few exceptions. Some examples are:

  • conviction for abuse or abandonment of children;
  • domestic violence;
  • threats with firearms;
  • stalking or violation of a protection order.


3. Falsify documents relating to entry in the Unites States. Some examples are:

  • Document fraud;
  • Citizenship fraud;
  • Passport fraud


4. Being a threat of the national security, such as engaging in:

  • espionage or sabotage;
  • criminal activities that endanger public safety or national security;
  • opposition activities against the United States;
  • acts of terrorism;
  • Nazi persecution, genocide or the commission of any act of torture.


Deportation carries harsh consequences, including the ban to return in the United States for 10 years or more. A Notice to Appear (NTA), with the reasons for the removal, is issued by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and filed with the Immigration Court. The alien will be asked by the immigration judge to admit or deny the factual and legal allegations contained in the NTA.

If the judge determines that the alien is removable from the United States, the alien will nonetheless be able to apply for any form of Relief from Removal that he or she qualifies for.

Some of them are summarized below:

  • Cancellation or removal, available for both LPRs and non-LPRs;
  • Suspension of deportation under the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA);
  • Cancellation of deportation according to the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), for battered non citizen spouse or child of an abusive U.S. citizen or permanent resident;
  • Protection under the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT);
  • Asylum, for the victims of persecution in their country of origin, under section § 208 (a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, when the alien qualifies as a “refugee”;
  • Adjustment of status;
  • Voluntary departure, which is leaving the U.S. at your own expenses to return to your home country, or third country.

Contact a New York Immigration Lawyer to learn more about the causes of removal proceedings.