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Deportable Offenses

Under certain conditions, any non-U.S. citizen, even with lawful status, can become deportable. Deportability is a determination of whether specific immigration laws were violated – specifically § 237 of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

There are different ways a person may become deportable. For example, a non-U.S. citizen is deportable for being in the United States without status. Conviction(s) for certain crimes or types of conduct are considered “deportable offenses.” Deportable offenses trigger removal proceedings in Immigration Court. It’s important to note that most non-citizens have the constitutional right to challenge allegations of deportability in Immigration Court. However, conviction for certain categories of deportable offenses may disqualify a person from stopping their removal.

These deportable offenses include:

Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude (CIMT)

Aggravated Felony (AF)

Crimes of Domestic Violence, Stalking, Violation of Protection Order, and Child Abuse (often misdemeanors)

Controlled Substance Offenses

Certain Firearm Offenses

Other Deportable Offenses listed within INA § 237(a)(2) subsections A through F.


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The definitions of deportable offenses are broad and complex. It requires extensive knowledge of both criminal and immigration law, and a commitment to constant education of the changing laws and policies. Court decisions determine whether a certain offense is considered within one of the above deportable offense categories.


WARNING: Every person’s situation could have a different result – based on their immigration history, family structure, and the exact criminal code section and sentence involved with their conviction.

Without proper legal advice, it is possible you’ll assume that a “minor offense” will not make you deportable. The reality is that any criminal conviction, including those that result in probation or fines, could actually be a deportable offense!

It is essential that you seek a CrImmigration legal team to guide you towards the best option to stay in the United States. There are proactive ways to tackle an offense that would otherwise make you deportable.

“Deportable” Doesn’t Always Mean You Will Be Deported.

Options to apply for relief from removal may exist!

It is important to remember that immigration detention does not result in immediate deportation or removal. Every single person within U.S. borders has constitutional rights and protections. You have the right to due process of law, which means you will have the right to challenge the charges of removal in Immigration Court and defend against your deportation. Many detained for removal may even be eligible for a bond for release by an Immigration Judge.  

Each criminal conviction is unique, and you’ll need a CrImmigration expert to properly examine it. STERN Law will do everything in our power to challenge your deportable offenses and strategize ways to fight for your permanent place in the U.S.