If you are a foreign national, you can be placed in deportation or removal proceedings to be sent back to your home country under certain circumstances. Even if you have become a U.S. citizen, you can be removed if you have committed fraud to get your green card or citizenship. You can be removed from the U.S. if:
- you were convicted of certain crimes related to illegal drugs, firearms, or espionage
- you were convicted of fleeing from an immigration checkpoint (i.e., running away)
- you are currently a drug abuser or addict or became one at any time after your admission to U.S.
- you were convicted of domestic violence, stalking, child abuse, child neglect, or child abandonment, or you violated the portion of a protective order that was meant to stop credible threats of violence, repeated harassment, or bodily injury
- you failed to register as a sex offender
- you failed to advise the immigration authorities, in writing, of a change of address within ten days of the move
- you were convicted of providing false information in connection with required registration with immigration authorities
- you were convicted of other violations relating to fraud and misuse of visas, permits, and other entry documents
- you falsely represented yourself as a U.S. citizen in order to gain any immigration or other benefit
- you engaged in, or supported, certain terrorist activity or participated in persecution, genocide, or extrajudicial killings, severe violations of religious freedom, or recruitment/use of child soldiers
- you became dependent on need-based government assistance within five years after U.S. entry, for reasons that arose before your entry
- you were inadmissible when you entered the U.S. or had your immigration status adjusted
- you violated the terms of your visa, green card, or other status
- your conditional permanent resident status has been terminated
- you committed marriage fraud or got married less than two years before getting your green card, then had the marriage annulled or terminated within the following two years, (this applies unless you can prove that the marriage was not a fraud and was not done to evade immigration laws)
However, even if the immigration authorities believe that you are deportable, you will not be deported right away. You have a right to a court hearing and the right to defend yourself against deportation at that hearing.
Legal Editors: BoBi Ahn and Wendy Yevoli, May/June 2015 (updated February 2018)
Changes may occur in this area of law. The information provided is brought to you as a public service with the help and assistance of volunteer legal editors, and is intended to help you better understand the law in general. It is not intended to be legal advice regarding your particular problem or to substitute for the advice of a lawyer.