Can an Asylee Be Deported?
Updated: Mar 4
Under federal law, deportation (also called removal) is the federal government’s ordering a non-citizen to leave the United States. If you or your loved one is in the U.S. as an asylee, you may be wondering: Can an asylee be deported?
An asylee may not be deported.
But, the government may terminate an asylee’s status as an asylee, if certain grounds exist.
If the government terminates an asylee’s status, the asylee may be deported.
The granting of asylum conveys certain important rights on a person. Read more about asylum here. One of the asylee’s rights is the right not to be deported by the U.S. (Read the federal law prohibiting the deportation of asylees here.)
However, the same federal law provides that under certain circumstances, the government may terminate an asylee’s status. Once the government terminates the asylee’s status, the government may deport the asylee.
When the government may terminate an asylee’s status:
If you are an asylee, the government may terminate your asylee status if:
You no longer have a well-founded fear of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion in the country of your nationality, or, if you have no nationality, the country of your last habitual residence
You ordered, incited, assisted, or otherwise participated in the persecution of any person on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion
You have been convicted of a “particularly serious crime” and you constitute a danger to the “community of the United States”
There are serious reasons to believe that you have committed a serious nonpolitical crime outside the U.S. before you came to the U.S.
There are reasonable grounds to believe that you are a danger to the security of the United States
You have engaged in, are likely to engage in, terrorist activity
You have incited terrorist activity under circumstances indicating an intention to cause serious bodily harm
You are a representative or member of a terrorist organization, or a group that endorses or espouses terrorist activity
You endorse or espouse terrorist activity, persuade others to endorse or espouse terrorist activity, or support a terrorist organization
You have received military training from a terrorist organization
You are the spouse or child of a non-citizen who is associated with terrorist activity in any of the above-described ways
You were firmly resettled in another country prior to arriving in the U.S.
A bilateral or multilateral agreement allows you to be removed to a country where your life or freedom would not be threatened because of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion and where you are eligible to receive asylum or similar protection
You have voluntarily availed yourself of the protection of the county of your nationality (or, if you have no nationality, the country of your last habitual residence) by returning to that country with permanent resident status or the reasonable possibility of obtaining permanent resident status.
You have acquired a new nationality and you enjoy the protection of your new nationality.
To see the law containing the list of grounds for terminating asylum, click here and scroll to “termination of asylum”
When you may be deported
The above-listed grounds are not grounds for deportation; rather, they are grounds for terminating asylum status. If the government terminates your asylum status, the government may deport you if:
You were an “inadmissible alien” at the time you entered the U.S., or at the time the government granted you asylum. For a list of circumstances that classify a person as an “inadmissible alien” click here.
You have knowingly encouraged, induced, assisted, abetted, or aided a non-citizen to enter the U.S. illegally (under certain exceptions, you may avoid deportation for this if you assisted your spouse, parent, son, or daughter to enter the U.S. illegally)
You procured a visa or immigration documentation through marriage fraud
You are convicted of a crime of moral turpitude within five years after you were granted asylum
You are convicted of more than two crimes of moral turpitude at any time after you were granted asylum, and the two crimes did not arise out of a single scheme of criminal misconduct
You were convicted of a crime for which a sentence of one year or longer may be imposed
You were convicted of an aggravated felony at any time after you were granted asylum
You fled from an immigration checkpoint in a motor vehicle, and exceeded the legal speed limit
You are convicted of failure to register as a sex offender
You are convicted of any violation relating to a controlled substance, other than a single offense involving possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana for your own use
You are a drug abuser or addict
You are convicted of an offense relating to firearms
You are convicted of espionage, sabotage, treason, or sedition
You are convicted of threatening a President of the United States, or a successor to the presidency of the United States
You are convicted of taking part in, or furnishing the money for, any military or naval expedition against a foreign country with which the U.S. is at peace
You are convicted of violating a law related to the military draft
You are convicted of the Trading with the Enemy Act
You are convicted of departing or entering the U.S. in violation of the immigration law, or are convicted of assisting others to do so
You are convicted of importing any non-citizen into the U.S. for prostitution, or any other immoral purpose
You are convicted of domestic violence, stalking, child abuse, or violating a protective order
You are convicted of human trafficking
You are convicted of falsifying immigration documents, or failing to register as an alien in compliance with federal law
You have falsely claimed to be a U.S. citizen
You engage in any activity to violate any law of the U.S. relating to espionage or sabotage or to violate or evade any law prohibiting the export of goods, technology, or sensitive information from the U.S.
You engage in any criminal activity which endangers public safety or national security
You engage in any activity to oppose, control, or overthrow the government by force, violence, or other unlawful means
The Secretary of State has reasonable grounds to believe that your presence in the U.S. would have potentially serious adverse foreign policy consequences for the U.S.
You have participated in Nazi persecution, genocide, or the commission of any act of torture or extrajudicial killing
You have participated in the commission of “particularly severe violations of religious freedom”
You have engaged in the recruitment of child soldiers
Within five years after you enter the U.S., you become a public charge from causes that did not arise after you entered the U.S.
You have illegally voted in any election in the U.S.
To see the law containing the list of grounds for deportation, here.
Asylee Assistance from an Immigration Lawyer
As you can see, the grounds for terminating an asylee’s status, and deporting the asylee after status is terminated, are many and complicated. In addition, there are numerous exceptions and waivers. If you are concerned that your asylee status may be terminated, or that you might be deported (or if the government has begun proceedings to terminate your status or deport you) it’s best to contact a qualified immigration lawyer. Call us today.