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Grounds for Removal (Deportability Grounds)

by Hamid R. Kashani, Attorney at Law
Nov 07, 2018 (last modified Feb 25, 2019)

Grounds for removal (or deportation) are the bases for removing a noncitizen who is already in the United States.

Removability grounds should be distinguished from inadmissibility grounds.  Inadmissibility grounds prescribe who may not be admitted into the country when they present themselves at the border. On the other hand, removability grounds prescribe who should be removed out of the United States after having been admitted into the country.

Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) § 237, defines general classes of noncitizens who are “removable,” i.e., removability grounds.

Classes of Removable Non-Citizens INA §
Any noncitizen who, at the time of admission or adjustment of status, was inadmissible under the then prevailing laws 237(a)(1)(A)
Any noncitizen who is in the United States in violation of immigration laws and any noncitizen whose visa has been revoked by the issuing consulate 237(a)(1)(B)
Any noncitizen who is out of status, i.e., any noncitizen who has failed to maintain status as required by the terms of his or her nonimmigrant visa 237(a)(1)(C)
Any conditional permanent resident whose conditional status has been terminated 237(a)(1)(D)
Any noncitizen, who within 5 years of admission, knowingly has encouraged, induced, assisted, abetted, or aided any other alien to unlawfully enter, or try to enter, the United States 237(a)(1)(E)
Any noncitizen who engages in marriage fraud 237(a)(1)(G)
Any noncitizen who, within 5 or 10 years (depending on circumstances) after admission, is convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude for which a sentence of one year or longer may be imposed 237(a)(2)(A)(i)
Any noncitizen who has been convicted of two or more crimes involving moral turpitude not arising out of the same transaction, regardless of any period of confinement 237(a)(2)(A)(ii)
Any noncitizen who is convicted of aggravated felony 237(a)(2)(A)(iii)
Any noncitizen who is convicted of an offense regarding high speed flight from an immigration checkpoint 237(a)(2)(A)(iv)
Any noncitizen who is a sex offender and fails to register as a sex offender 237(a)(2)(A)(v)
Any noncitizen who is convicted of any laws relating to controlled substance, except for “a single offense involving possession for one's own use of 30 grams or less of marijuana.” 237(a)(2)(B(i)
Any noncitizen who has become a drug abuser or addict 237(a)(2)(B)(ii)
Any noncitizen who has been convicted of certain laws relating to purchasing, selling, offering for sale, exchanging, using, owning, possessing, or carrying firearms or other destructive devices 237(a)(2)(C)
Any noncitizen convicted of crimes involving espionage, sabotage, treason, or sedition, for which a sentence of 5 years or more may be imposed; and certain other crimes 237(a)(2)(D)
Any noncitizen convicted of crimes of domestic violence, stalking, or violation of protection order, or crimes against children 237(a)(2)(E)
Any noncitizen convicted of trafficking 237(a)(2)(F)
Any noncitizen who fails to register and update his or her address as required 237(a)(3)(A)
Any noncitizen who falsifies certain documents, or fails to register as a foreign agent (if applicable) 237(a)(3)(B)
Any noncitizen who engages in certain document fraud activities 237(a)(3)(C)
Any noncitizen who claims U.S. citizenship 237(a)(3)(D)
Any noncitizen who engages in espionage, sabotage, export of prohibited goods out of the United States, sedition, terrorism, activities with potentially adverse consequences on foreign policy, severe violations of religious freedom, recruitment or use of child soldiers, or any other activities endangering the safety or national security of the United States 237(a)(4)
Any noncitizen who becomes a public charge within five (5) years from the date of entry 237(a)(5)
Any noncitizen who unlawfully votes in any federal, state, or local election 237(a)(6)


  • Some grounds of removability are subject to exceptions and waivers.  If the facts suggest that you may fall within any of these grounds, you should consult an attorney to determine whether you would qualify for an exception or waiver.
  • Some grounds of removability, which are not subject to exceptions and waivers, are still subject to interpretation and qualifications. If the facts suggest that you may fall within any of these grounds, you should consult an attorney to determine whether your circumstances would place you outside the purview of these grounds.

Related Topics:

Removal Proceeding Procedure & Defenses

Removal Proceedings

Undocumented Immigrants

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

Arrest & Detention by ICE

Immigration Bond

Expedited Removal


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