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The deportation of naturalized citizens due to criminal activity

On Behalf of | May 27, 2015 | Firm News, Immigration Detention |

Pennsylvania residents who have become naturalized citizens of the United States may wonder if a subsequent criminal conviction could lead to deportation proceedings being initiated against them. While this would not happen if the crime in question was committed after they were naturalized, they could be deported if illegal activity that occurred prior to their naturalization is uncovered during a criminal investigation.

Once people have been naturalized, U.S. law makes it very difficult for them to be deported. However, they may face deportation proceedings if it is discovered that a material misrepresentation was made when they applied for citizenship. These proceedings will be based on the person’s ineligibility for citizenship at the time of the application for naturalization rather than any subsequent behavior. However, these cases are extremely rare, and this kind of action has mainly been taken against former Nazis who concealed their activities during World War II when they applied to become citizens of the United States.

While people cannot be deported for committing a crime after they have been naturalized, there are situations where they could lose their citizenship. Naturalized citizens may face deportation if they are dishonorably discharged from a branch of the U.S. military prior to completing five years of service, and they could also lose their citizenship if they become affiliated with a terrorist or totalitarian organization within five years of their naturalization.

The possibility of deportation can cause a great deal of anxiety and stress, and making mistakes after receiving a notice to appear before a removal hearing can be costly. Experienced immigration attorneys may assist those in this situation by examining witnesses and evidence, and they could also appeal the decision of an immigration court. Such an appeal could be based on factors including the employment history of the individual concerned as well as the length of time that they have lived in the United States and their family ties in the country.


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