If you are an immigrant, deportation is always a potential risk until you receive full citizenship. While a green card offers you a certain amount of security and stability to establish a life in the United States, many crimes can still be punishable by deportation—even after you become a lawful permanent resident.
Knowing what can cause you to lose your immigration status is important to avoid being removed from the country. Domestic violence, drug possession and firearm offenses are just a few of the crimes that can jeopardize your residency. Even just being addicted to drugs—and not charged with a crime at all—can be grounds for deportation.
Pretending to be a U.S. citizen or voting illegally can impact your status as well. Even accidentally registering to vote when you get your driver’s license can put you at risk of repercussions. It’s important to make sure you understand any documentation you sign at the Department of Motor Vehicles, to avoid inadvertent voter registration.
Failure to follow procedures
On top of crimes—for which Americans and non-Americans alike can be punished—there are certain other things that green card holders need to watch out for. The government keeps track of the whereabouts of all permanent residents. If you ever change your address, you need to report it to the Attorney General within ten days. This can easily be forgotten when you are busy moving, but even something this small can lead to dire consequences.
All of the above factors can negatively impact your life in this country. If you run into legal trouble, it’s critical to contact an immigration attorney as soon as possible.