Criminal Defense of Immigrants

Summary Table of Contents


Appendix D. Checklist of Grounds of Deportation

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Appendix D:  Deportation Grounds Checklist


                This is a complete list of all grounds of deportation.


                Most, but not all, of the grounds of deportation are listed under INA § 237(a), 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a).[1]  These grounds apply only to a noncitizen “in and admitted to the United States.”[2]  Therefore, if the noncitizen has not been admitted to the United States, s/he is not subject to removal on these grounds.  The statute also provides the noncitizen shall be removed only “upon the order of the Attorney General . . . .”[3]  Therefore, if the Attorney General[4] does not choose to order him or her removed, s/he is not removable on account of these grounds of deportation.  The remaining grounds of deportation are listed under Title 50 of the United States Code.


                This checklist is a complete list of all grounds of deportation.  It has been organized into four categories: (I) Criminal grounds; (II) Immigration Grounds, including smuggling and fraud; (III) Immigration Status Violations; and (IV) Security Grounds, including espionage, genocide, and terrorist acts.  Each category includes: (1) conduct-based grounds of deportation, which are based not on a criminal conviction or other court order, but on some behavior or status exhibited by a noncitizen, (2) conviction-based grounds of deportation, which require a final criminal conviction that meets a certain definition before deportation will be ordered, and (3) grounds of deportation based on a court or administrative tribunal’s order (other than a criminal conviction).


                Where applicable, the existence of any exceptions or waivers that specifically apply to the ground of deportation will be indicated.  This checklist will not discuss more generally applicable exceptions or waivers such as cancellation of removal.[5]  See Chapter 24, infra.


[1] INA § 237(a), 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a) provides: “An alien (including an alien crewman) in and admitted to the United States shall, upon the order of the Attorney General, be removed if the alien is within one or more of the following classes of deportable aliens: . . . .”

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Or, in some cases, the DHS.  See § 15.22, infra.

[5] INA § 240A, 8 U.S.C. § 1229b.