Grounds for Removal: Miscellaneous Grounds

Any alien who has not been lawfully admitted to the United States is subject to removal on grounds of inadmissibility. Any alien who has been lawfully admitted remains subject to removal on grounds of deportability. An alien is any person who is not a citizen or a national of the United States. Other articles have discussed grounds of inadmissibility and deportability such as criminal activity, improper entry, and marriage fraud. This article discusses miscellaneous grounds of inadmissibility and deportability.

Miscellaneous Grounds of Inadmissibility

The following persons are inadmissible on miscellaneous grounds:

  • Polygamists - People who practice polygamy, which is the historical custom or religious practice of having multiple wives, are inadmissible under Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) § 212(a)(10)(A), 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(10)(A). The law refers only to aliens who actually engage in polygamy. It does not reach those who simply believe in or advocate polygamy.
  • Guardian required to accompany helpless alien - An otherwise admissible alien may be barred from admission for accompanying an inadmissible alien who requires protection or guardianship because the inadmissible alien is helpless from sickness or mental or physical disability or infancy. For example, when an infant child is inadmissible for mental deficiency, his accompanying alien mother may also be inadmissible because the child needs her protection or guardianship.

    On the other hand, if an inadmissible alien is not helpless, the inadmissibility does not necessarily affect the right of admission of his or her accompanying family. Thus, when a man is inadmissible on criminal charges, his accompanying wife and child, who are capable of earning their own livings, cannot be denied admission, since they are admissible and are not likely to become public charges.

  • International child abductors - An alien is inadmissible for withholding custody outside the United States of a child who has a lawful claim to U.S. citizenship from a U.S. citizen to whom custody of the child has been awarded by court order. The alien who is designated an international child abductor remains inadmissible until the child is surrendered to the U.S. citizen.
  • Unlawful voters - Aliens who vote in an election in violation of any federal, state, or local requirement are inadmissible. This ground applies to voting at any time, even before the law's enactment. Aliens who voted in any election in the United States will be assumed to have done so illegally, but they will be given the opportunity to prove to the consular officer that they voted in one of the very few U.S. municipalities that allow non-citizens to vote.
  • Former U.S. citizens who renounced citizenship to avoid taxation - Any individual who "officially renounces" U.S. citizenship to avoid U.S. taxation is inadmissible. The individual has to formally relinquish U.S. citizenship in the required form before a U.S. consular or diplomatic official abroad.
  • Aliens who confiscate or traffic in property of U.S. nationals - The Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act of 1996 (the Cuban Liberty Act) is a broad effort to put pressure on the Communist government of Cuba. This law makes aliens who have confiscated property of United States nationals or who traffic in such property inadmissible. The term "confiscate" applies only to actions of the Cuban government. Aliens are inadmissible if they confiscate property of a U.S. national either directly or through an agent or corporation.
  • Aliens deemed inadmissible for other reasons - The President of the United States has the power to suspend the admission of any class of alien for any period he deems necessary, or to impose on the admission of aliens any restrictions he deems appropriate. Historically, the President has suspended the admission into the United States, whether as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of aliens who formulate or implement policies against the promotion of democracy in their country of origin, and of those who benefit from such policies.
  • Nonimmigrant visa overstayers - While not technically creating a ground of inadmissibility, INA § 222(g), 8 U.S.C. § 1201, provides that any nonimmigrant visa is void as soon as the alien overstays his or her period of authorized stay. Such an alien is ineligible for readmission except on the basis of a visa issued in a consular office located in the alien's country of nationality, unless "extraordinary circumstances" exist. These circumstances include such situations as foreign doctors who are working in underserved areas of the United States and who apply for visas, and nonimmigrants whose current foreign residence is in a country other than the country of their nationality.

Miscellaneous Grounds of Deportability

An alien who has been legally admitted to the United States is subject to removal on grounds of deportability. The following are miscellaneous grounds of deportation:

  • Lost conditional residence - Sometimes aliens are granted conditional residence. Conditional permanent residence happens in two circumstances: when someone is immigrating on the basis of a marriage that's not yet two years old, and when an immigrant investor is first granted permission to come to the country. Under INA § 237(a)(1)(D), 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(1)(D), an alien who has his or her conditional resident status terminated is deportable, unless he or she can qualify for a hardship waiver under INA § 216(c)(4), 8 U.S.C. § 1186a(c)(4); the qualifying marriage was entered into in good faith, but was terminated, and the alien was not at fault for failing to meet the requirements to remove the condition; or the marriage was entered into in good faith, but the alien spouse or a child was the subject of extreme cruelty or battering by the U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse or parent.
  • Violations of conditions of temporary entry - A nonimmigrant who violates the conditions under which he or she was allowed to enter by staying beyond the allotted period of travel, by working without authorization, or in any other manner, is subject to removal from the United States. This is the case even when the time originally allotted for the stay has not yet expired.
  • Public charge grounds - A non-citizen is deportable if he or she becomes a public charge within five years after the date of entry from causes not affirmatively shown to have arisen since entry.
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