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Immigration Consequences and Domestic Violence


In general, a qualifying domestic violence conviction triggers deportation regardless of sentence, and regardless of whether the conviction is a felony or misdemeanor. The domestic violence deportation ground appears at the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”) Section 237(a)(2)(E)(i), 8 USC section 1227(a)(2)(E).

Many domestic violence convictions fall into other grounds of deportation, such as aggravated felonies, or crimes of moral turpitude.  There are four distinct ways that a noncitizen can become deportable:

  • Conviction of a “crime of domestic violence;”
  • Conviction of “stalking;”
  • Conviction of a “crime of child abuse, child neglect, or child abandonment; or
  • Judicial finding in civil or criminal proceedings of a violation of certain portions of a domestic violence protective order.

Like any deportation ground, the domestic violation ground can cause a permanent resident, refugee, or other person who has been admitted to the United States to be placed in removal proceedings and charged with being deportable. The person can also be barred for cancellation of removal for nonpermanent residents under the INA Sec. 240A(b)(2).

However, there is discretionary waiver of deportability under the Domestic Violence ground for people who can show that they were primarily the victim in the relationship and make other showings. One can apply to waive a conviction of a Domestic Violence or a stalking offense, or being found to have violated a Domestic Violence Protective Order (PO), but not a conviction of child abuse, neglect, or abandonment.

Finally, being deportable under the Domestic Violation ground alone does not “stop the clock” on accruing the seven years of residence that is required for cancellation of removal for permanent residents, INA Sec. 240A(a), (d). But if the conviction also causes inadmissibility, it might stop the seven-year clock.

The Law Offices of Norka M. Schell, LLC can assist immigrants who are facing deportation on Domestic Violation ground, please call (212) 258-0713 to speak with our domestic violation lawyer.

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