Written by attorney Jeffrey Dean Joseph

Can I be Deported for a Domestic Violence or Child Abuse Offense?

a) Removability for Domestic Violence Offenses including Stalking, Violation of Protection Ordersand Crimes Against Children. INA §237(a)(2)(E).

Any conviction afterSeptember 30,1996for a crime of domestic violence,stalking,child abuse,child neglect or abandonment is a deportable offense. INA § 237(a)(2)(E).

i) To qualify as a domestic violence offense,the crime must meet the federal definition of crime of violence at 18 U.S.C. §16:

(1) Any crime (felony,misdemeanor or petty offense) that has as an actual element of the offense the use,attempted use,or threatened use of force against the person (but not the property) of another,or

(2) Any felony that,by its nature,involves a substantial risk that physical force may be used in the course of committing the offense.

ii) Must be a crime committed against a person (not property) by:

(1) a current or former spouse of the person

(2) an individual with whom the person shares a child in common,

(3) an individual who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the person as a spouse,

(4) an individual similarly situated to a spouse of the person under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction where the offense occurs,or

(5) Any other individual against a person who is protected from that individual’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of theUnited States,or any State,Indian Tribal government or unit of local government.

(a) Does not necessarily include third degree assault. United Statesv. Perez-Vargas, 414 F.3d 1282 (10th Cir. 2005).

iii) Child abuse and neglect is broadly defined to include "any form of cruelty to a child’s physical,moral,or mental well-being." Matter of Rodriguez-Rodriguez, 22 I&N Dec. 991 (BIA 1999).

iv) Violation of protection orders: Covers court orders at any time after entry (committed afterSeptember 30,1996) for those who are enjoined under a protection order issued by a court and whom the court determines has engaged in conduct that violates the portion of a protection order that involves protection against credible threats of violence,repeated harassment,or bodily injury to the person or persons for who the protection order was issued.

v) Although a ground of deportation,domestic violence and violations of restraining orders are not grounds of inadmissibility unless classified as a other ground of inadmissibility such as a crime involving moral turpitude

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