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Green Card Holder Deportation: Don’t Panic, Get Informed!

Green card holders, also known as lawful permanent residents, can lose their status and face deportation for various reasons, including committing certain crimes, violating immigration laws, abandoning their residency, violating the terms of their visa, and engaging in terrorism or other security-related activities.
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C.L. Mike Schmidt Published by C.L. Mike Schmidt

What is a Green Card?

According to Wikipedia, a green card, officially known as a permanent resident card, serves as proof of an individual’s permanent residency status in the United States [1]. Green card holders are formally referred to as lawful permanent residents (LPRs).

As of 2019, there are an estimated 13.9 million green card holders, with 9.1 million eligible to pursue U.S. citizenship. Additionally, approximately 18,700 green card holders currently serve in the U.S. Armed Forces.

How to Get a Green Card

According to Boundless Immigration Inc., to obtain a green card, the process varies depending on the type of green card being pursued [2]. Below are details on how to obtain different types of green cards:

Family-Based Green Card:
Close relatives of U.S. citizens and current green card holders, including spouses, children, parents, and siblings, can apply for family-based green cards. Widows and widowers who were married to a U.S. citizen at the time of the citizen’s death may also apply. However, many extended family members, such as cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents, do not qualify unless they have a closer relative who is a U.S. citizen or current green card holder.

Employment-Based Green Card:
There are several subcategories of employment-based green cards, each with its own set of eligibility criteria. These subcategories include:

  • Priority Workers (EB-1): Positions requiring extraordinary ability, outstanding professors and researchers, and multinational managers and executives.
  • Professionals with Advanced Degrees and Exceptional Abilities (EB-2): Positions requiring at least a master’s degree, positions requiring at least a bachelor’s degree plus at least five years of relevant experience, and positions in the sciences, arts, or business requiring exceptional ability.
  • Physicians (EB-2 with a Special Waiver): Physicians who agree to work full-time in underserved areas for a specific period and meet other eligibility criteria.
  • Skilled, Unskilled, and Professional Workers (EB-3): Skilled positions require a minimum of two years of training or experience, unskilled positions require less than two years of training or experience, and professional positions require at least a bachelor’s degree from a U.S. university or college.
  • Special Workers (EB-4): Media professionals, religious workers and ministers, Afghanistan and Iraq nationals who have served the U.S. government under certain capacities, and certain other employees, retirees, and their family members.
  • Investors (EB-5): Non-U.S. nationals who have invested or are investing at least $1 million (or $500,000 in a high-unemployment or rural area) in a new U.S. business that will create full-time positions for at least 10 workers.

Humanitarian Green Card:
Refugees and asylees who fear or have experienced persecution in their home country can seek protection in the United States. Once they have lived in the U.S. for at least one year since receiving refugee status or asylum, they may apply for a green card. Children, spouses, and in some cases, other family members of refugees and asylees may also apply for protection under these programs and eventually apply for a green card.

Green card holders are statutorily entitled to apply for U.S. citizenship after showing by a preponderance of the evidence that they, among other things, have continuously resided in the United States for one to five years and are persons of good moral character. Those who are younger than 18 years old automatically derive U.S. citizenship if they have at least one U.S. citizen parent – Boundless Immigration Inc.

How Can Green Card Holders Get Deported?

Green card holders, like all citizens, must comply with U.S. laws. Violations can result in deportation, depending on the circumstances of each case.

Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Grounds for Deportation: According to U.S. law, any non-citizen may be subject to removal. Green card holders applying for U.S. citizenship can face deportation if issues arise during background checks. Common reasons for deportation include criminal activities and violations of immigration laws.
  2. Crimes Leading to Deportation: Deportation proceedings are typically initiated against immigrants who have committed crimes of moral turpitude or aggravated felonies. Crimes of moral turpitude involve intent to harm individuals or their property, theft, fraud, larceny, domestic abuse, and driving under the influence. For green card holders, these crimes must have been committed within five years of their admission into the U.S. Committing two or more such crimes at any time after admission can also lead to removal proceedings.
  3. Aggravated Felonies: Aggravated felonies include serious offenses such as drug trafficking, murder, rape, money laundering, and sexual abuse against minors. Conviction of an aggravated felony results in deportation and prohibits re-entry into the United States.

United States Immigration Statistics

  • In 2022, nearly 46.2 million immigrants resided in the United States, marking the highest number in U.S. history.
  • Immigrants made up 13.9 percent of the total U.S. population in 2022, slightly higher than the 13.7 percent share in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The foreign-born population grew by 912,000 people between 2021 and 2022, a 2 percent increase, the largest annual growth since 2013-2014.
  • Immigration continues to be a significant factor in overall U.S. population growth, accounting for 65 percent of the total population increase between 2021 and 2022.

Source: [3].

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