top of page
  • Writer's pictureKyle Persaud

Can an Asylee Be Deported?

Updated: Mar 4, 2022

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.



bottom of page