Year after year, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deports thousands of immigrants; not only undocumented ones, but also permanent residents (green card holders).

There are several reasons for deportation, but most of them are related to criminal or illegal activities like:

  1. Entering the United States illegally

If a person is caught crossing the U.S. border illegally, he or she has the priority to be deported, according to U.S. ICE.

  1. Criminal activity

Even when the immigrant has a legal status, the fact that he or she has committed a serious crime (murder, rape, drug or arms trafficking) will lead him or her to imprisonment or deportation. In such cases, it is likely that the immigrant will not be allowed to enter the United States again.

Other criminal activities that lead to deportation are:

  • Theft of little value services or properties (worth less than $500, the so-called “petty thief”).
  • Entering someone’s property without permission.
  • Indecent exposure.
  • Public disorder.
  • Appearing drunk in public.
  • Infraction of traffic laws.
  1. Domestic violence

Every foreigner who has been sentenced for domestic violence will be immediately deported. Domestic violence does not only refer to physical violence, but also to psychological abuse and oral or written threats.

  1. Overstaying one’s visa

When a tourist visa holder or an exchange student stay longer than allowed in the United States, he or she is at risk of being deported and beingdenied his or her entrance into the country in the future.

  1. Marriage of convenience

If a person has obtained a green card through a marriage of convenience, he or she will automatically lose his or her residency and will be deported.

  1. Smuggling

If a person is caught smuggling people or helping or encouraging others to enter the United States illegally, he or she will be immediately arrested and deported.


In 2014, the United States deported 315,943 immigrants.