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Crimes, naturalized citizens and deportation

California residents who are naturalized citizens may wonder if they can be deported for a crime committed after their naturalization was approved. Taking away a person's citizenship and deporting them is difficult to do, and in general, it is not possible to do so because of a crime committed after naturalization.

However, there are a few cases in which the government has stripped a naturalized citizen of their citizenship and deported them due to criminal activity. Usually, it is a case in which the person has been dishonest about their past. For example, this happened to Nazis and other war criminals from World War II who entered the country on false pretenses.

Another possible situation is if the investigation of a crime committed after naturalization reveals other criminal activity that occurred prior to naturalization. A case like this could lead to deportation, but it would not be because of the post-naturalization crime. It would be due to the person having been dishonest about a criminal past and about their activities prior to naturalization. Other reasons that a naturalized person can be deported include belonging to a terrorist, communist or totalitarian organization after fewer than five years of citizenship or being dishonorably discharged from the military prior to the completion of five years of service.

Those who are facing deportation or seeking asylum may wish to consult an attorney for assistance. Immigration law is both fast-changing and complex, and an attorney might be able to keep clients apprised of these changes and complexities. Some people may be eligible to remain on the grounds of family ties. Furthermore, others who wish to remain in the United States and who are not currently threatened with deportation may want to work with an attorney as well. Among other factors, job skills may affect their eligibility.

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  • American Immigration Lawyers Association
  • State Bar of California | California Board of Legal Specialization
  • Avvo
  • Orange County Bar Association
  • Irvine Chamber