Can a Green Card Holder Be Deported?
Raluca answers the question: Can green card holders can be deported? She also talks about waivers if you are (or have been) deported as a green card holder. She discusses how lying or committing fraud might keep you from being allowed back into the US even as a visitor. And she talks about how inadmissibility comes into play for those who leave the US as a green card holder.
Due to the nature of this being a live video, the transcript may be different then everything you hear. We try our best to make them the same.
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Today we are going to answer a question we are asked frequently, Can a green card holder be deported?
I’m Raluca Hanea, I provide immigration, family law, and estate planning assistance to my clients.
I’m here with my marketing and office manager, Nina Cleere.
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Nina: Let’s first review what a green card is.
Raluca: Sure, its a card (that is no longer really green) that you receive after approval that confirms you are in the US legally as a resident.
Nina: And there are two types, right?
Raluca: Yes, there is a conditional green card and there is a “permanent” one.
Nina: Why do you put it in quotes?
Raluca: Because it still must be renewed every 10 years even though it is said to be permanent.
Nina: And what is the legal status that you have when you have a green card?
Raluca: You are considered a lawful permanent resident.
Nina: What about the conditional green card?
Raluca: You are still here lawfully but because you haven’t lived in the US or been married long enough before receiving it, it is only temporary and then you must apply for a removal of conditions.
Nina: How soon after you get the conditional one can you apply for a removal of conditions?
Raluca: Usually within 3 months of it expiring, and it expires 2 years after you get it.
Nina: There are people who have lived in the US for decades with a green card though, right? No law requires you get your US citizenship, right?
Raluca: Yes, there are people who for whatever reason have not gotten their US Citizenship though they have had a green card for a very long time.
Nina: But that isn’t your recommendation, is it?
Raluca: Not at all.
Nina: Why is that?
Raluca: A green card gives you the right to be in the US but it doesn’t give you any other rights so you can still be deported and possibly never allowed back into the US.
Nina: What would you have to do to be deported?
Raluca: With this administration, it seems anything is possible but definitely, if you commit certain crimes that violate US Immigration laws, you can be deported if you are here on a green card.
Nina: What would an example of those types of crimes be?
Raluca: The phrases “crimes of moral turpitude” or aggravated felonies are what they look at. A few examples of crimes of moral turpitude might be: fraud, larceny (so stealing) and anything that might hurt persons or things.
Nina: So domestic violence might be an issue.
Raluca: It is. It is one of the most common that I see. Another very common one is a DUI or aggravated DUI.
Nina: Do you need to be convicted or can you merely be arrested for those crimes?
Raluca: Some crimes (such as drug abuse – sometimes found with a DUI) you only need to be arrested. Others do require a conviction and no appeal available meaning it is the final decision.
Nina: So does that mean once you become a US citizen, you cannot be deported?
Raluca: No. But they are very limited and, hopefully, rare circumstances.
Nina: What would they be?
Raluca: If you committed fraud in your application for your green card. Or if you committed a crime within a certain time period of entering the US.
Nina: Can you give us an example of fraud?
Raluca: Yes. There have been instances where people have not put their real name on their applications, or said they did not have connections to terrorist groups (or other groups asked about in the applications) when they applied. Basically any time you lie on your application, that would be fraud.
Nina: What happens if the person is found guilty of fraud on their immigration applications/petitions?
Raluca: They are deported and usually have a lifetime ban from being able to re-enter the US, even as a visitor.
Nina: So they can’t apply to get a green card again?
Raluca: Not usually. There are limited waivers that can be applied for but these are very limited and not granted very often.
Nina: Let’s chat about inadmissibility for a minute.
Raluca: Ok. Inadmissibility applies usually when you apply to come into the US, certain things will keep you out.
Nina: So it doesn’t apply if you have a green card and are convicted of a crime that might not be enough to get you deported?
Raluca: Well, it does if you ever plan to leave the country.
Remember I’ve mentioned in videos previously that every time you come back into the US as a green card holder, border patrol or custom agents decide if you should be permitted back into the country. Just because you have a green card, does not mean you have the right to be allowed back in. If you are convicted of a crime after having gotten a green card that may not rise to the level that would cause deportation, but it might make you inadmissible to the US. So if you leave the US on a green card, you may not be allowed back when you try to re-enter.
Nina: In a situation like that, is that when you would apply for advance parole?
Raluca: You could. I would recommend speaking to an immigration attorney if that is an issue for you, the individual circumstances need to be carefully reviewed to determine what your best and safest actions would be.
Nina: So to remind everyone – you can be deported if you have a green card.
Raluca: That’s right.
Thank you for watching. If you have any questions, please submit them to us here or in a private message. We’ll see you tomorrow.
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