Can I get deported as an illegal immigrant even if I have not committed a crime?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can I get deported as an illegal immigrant even if I have not committed a crime?

I am married to an American that I’m planning to prosecute and get a restraining order on. He posted nudes of me online, etc. but I am scared that he might send immigration on me and maybe make up some lies that I’ve committed a crime or something. If he does, can they deport me even if I have not committed a crime?

Asked on August 5, 2017 under Immigration Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can be deported as an illegal immigrant even if you have not committed another or a different crime (other than being here illegally). Being an "illegal" immigrant means exactly what it sounds like: it is not "legal" for you to be in the country, and you may be removed for that reason. You are not a priority for removal if you have not committed other crimes--the Administration has stated several times that it is focuing on illegal immigrants who do commit other crimes--but that just means you are not on the top of their lis to remove; it does not mean that you cannot or will not be deported.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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