Individuals who live in the United States but are not citizens face deportation if they violate any of the immigration laws. Entering the country fraudulently or smuggling in an alien can result in deportation, but criminal convictions are also deportable offenses.
Not all crimes result in potential deportation. There are certain categories, however, that do make someone eligible for deportation.
Actual crimes vs classification
According to FindLaw, deportation does not depend on the classification of the crime, such as a misdemeanor or felony, but rather, on the crime itself. Facing a criminal charge does not automatically result in deportation, as the defendant must go through a trial and receive a conviction.
Categories of deportable crimes
There are five main categories of crimes that fall under deportable offenses.
Crimes of moral turpitude
There is no specific definition of morality crimes, but the baseline is that they betray the trust of the nation and of individuals. Examples of these crimes include:
If a foreign national faces conviction for only one morality crime and the sentence is less than one year, it is not a deportable offense.
These include violent crimes with a sentence of at least one year. Examples include rape, murder and theft.
The Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute states that some firearm offenses convictions may result in deportation. However, unlawful possession may not be enough. In some cases, deportation only occurs if there was a violation of other laws, such as using a firearm in an aggravated assault or a drug crime.
Controlled substance offenses
These include violating laws regarding the selling, or possessing with the intent to sell, drugs or controlled substances. This does not include a one-time conviction for personal possession of marijuana in quantities of 30 grams or less.
Crimes of domestic violence
These deportable crimes include convictions involving child abuse, domestic violence and stalking. A defendant may also face deportation if in violation of a protective order regarding persistent harassment, bodily harm or violence threats.