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Posted by attorney Theodore Robinson

Any person who is not already a citizen of the United States, including lawful permanent residents (those with Green Cards), can be deported because of certain criminal convictions.

Lawful permanent residents are designated as immigrants/non-citizens who have been granted permission by the United States government to live and work in the United States for a short period of time or even an indefinite period of time.

Before a personc can become a US citizen, they must first become a lawful permanent resident. It does not matter how long they may have been living in the US before seeking citizenship, if they are not a legal permanent resident, they cannot become a citizen without going back to their country and making the application and doing it the normal way. Even when they have close relatives living in the U.S. who are lawful citizens, it makes no difference, except it may stop the non-citizen's deportation.

On the other hand, it does not stop Homeland Security from starting the process to permanently remove that person from the United States. There are a number of criteria that can lead to deportation.

The Immigration and Nationality Act specifies three basic categories of crimes that can lead to the possible deportation of a non-citizen or prevent a non-citizen from becoming a lawful permanent resident or eventually a U.S. citizen.

We will go over the categories in the next Part of this series.

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