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Aggravated Felonies and Deportation

USICE can deport a non-citizen from the U.S. for committing what it calls an “aggravated felony.” According to the Immigration and Nationality Act (hereinafter “the Act” or “Immigration and Nationality Act”) which authorizes the USICE to deport non-citizens, the definition of this charge can be quite complicated. For instance, “a crime of violence” will be counted as an aggravated felony, but only if the person was sentenced to a prison term of over one year. “Crimes of violence” usually include crimes such as robbery or battery. If a person committed one of these crimes but was not sentenced to prison and only received probation, the crime would not be counted as aggravated felony. In this instance, however, it could be classified as a “crime against moral turpitude” which is also a deportable offense but with less legal restrictions.

It is important to determine whether the commission of a crime is an aggravated felony under the Act before conceding the charges in Immigration Court. This is especially important if you are eligible to apply for a waiver. It is also important to understand the difference between “removable” offenses and “inadmissible” offenses for the remainder of this discussion of deportation. See, Inadmissibility vs. Removability.