You Can Be Deported For Domestic Violence
Domestic violence is one of the most common types of crime in the United States, and those who are convicted of it face serious consequences. Punishment for domestic violence often includes jail time, fines and/or restitution, and mandatory attendance in some form of treatment program. For non-citizens, a domestic violence conviction can even mean deportation.
Federal Laws For Non-citizens
All non-citizens, which includes Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs), nonimmigrant visa holders, and illegal immigrants are subject to deportation. While certain minor crimes may not cause problems for these groups, domestic violence is specifically mentioned in the Immigration and Nationality Act as being a deportable offense.
The meaning of domestic violence under these laws includes crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse of the victim, a co-parent of a child, live-in or domestic partner, or anyone else who acts against someone who is legally protected by local or federal domestic or family violence laws.
Crimes Of Moral Turpitude
Domestic violence is also considered a “crime of moral turpitude” when committed by non-citizens. While the definition of moral turpitude varies a bit, generally speaking it means:
Conduct that shocks the public conscience as being inherently base, vile, or depraved, contrary to the rules of morality and the duties owed between man and man, either one’s fellow man or society in general.
Immigrants can be deported from the US if they have been convicted of either:
- A crime of moral turpitude that they committed within five years of being admitted to the U.S. and the crime carried a possible sentence of one year or more.
- Two or more crimes involving moral turpitude, which did not arise out of a single scheme of criminal misconduct, regardless of whether they served a sentence or whether the convictions occurred during a single court trial.
So, even if an instance of domestic violence is relatively minor, if a non-citizen has another conviction for a different crime that was considered moral turpitude, they are likely to face deportation.
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