Skip to main content

Primary tabs

Criminal Resource Manual

1934. Appendix D -- Grounds For Judicial Deportation

Outdated—pending revision.


A judicial order of deportation can be requested only if the offense for which the alien will be sentenced renders such alien deportable on one or more of the following grounds:

  • Crime of Moral Turpitude, 8 U.S.C. § 1251(a)(2)(A)(i)

    The alien must be convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude committed within five years after the date of entry, and sentenced to confinement or confined therefor for one year or longer. Although the conviction must occur within five years of entry, any entry into the United States may be used to support the charge of deportability.

    The term "involving moral turpitude" is difficult to define with precision. However, a challenge to this designation as being unconstitutionally vague has been rejected.

    Chu v. Cornell, 247 F.2d 929 (9th Cir. 1957), cert. denied 355 U.S. 892 (1958). Administrative case law has characterized moral turpitude as "a nebulous concept, which refers generally to conduct that shocks the public conscience." Obviously, offenses such as murder, voluntary manslaughter, kidnaping, robbery, and aggravated assaults involve moral turpitude. However, assaults not involving dangerous weapons or evil intent have been held not to involve moral turpitude. Conspiracy, attempt, or being an accessory involves moral turpitude if the underlying offense involves moral turpitude. There is administrative and judicial case law holding that any crime having as an element the intent to defraud is a crime involving moral turpitude. See Gordon and Mailman, Immigration Law and Procedure, § 75.05[1][d].

    A sentence of confinement of one year or more is sufficient even if the sentence is entirely suspended. However, a single crime of moral turpitude in which a sentence of less than one year is imposed would not be a ground for deportation under section 1252(a)(2)(A)(i), but the same offense might provide a basis for deportability as an aggravated felony.

  • Multiple Criminal Convictions, 8 U.S.C. § 1251(a)(2)(A)(ii)

    A conviction for two or more crimes involving moral turpitude at any time after entry would render an alien deportable, so long as the offenses did not arise out of a single scheme, and regardless of whether the alien was confined therefor. Conceivably, two misdemeanor convictions, not arising out of a single scheme, for crimes involving moral turpitude would make an alien deportable under this provision.

  • Aggravated Felony 8 U.S.C. § 1251(a)(2)(A)(iii)An alien convicted of an "aggravated felony," as defined in 8 U.S.C. §  1101(a)(43), is deportable. The Immigration and Nationality Technical Corrections Act of 1994 expanded the number of aggravated felony offenses. (Some, but not all aggravated felonies, would also be crimes involving moral turpitude.) Aggravated felonies now include:
    1. murder;
    2. illicit trafficking in a controlled substance;
    3. illicit trafficking in firearms, destructive devices, or explosive materials;
    4. money laundering or engaging in a monetary transaction in property derived from specific unlawful activity if the amount of the funds exceeded $100,000;
    5. offenses described in various sections of Title 18 relating to explosive materials or firearms;
    6. crimes of violence for which the term of imprisonment imposed is at least 5 years;
    7. crimes of theft or burglary for which the term of imprisonment imposed is at least 5 years;
    8. offenses described in various sections of Title 18 relating to the demand or receipt of ransom;
    9. offenses described in 18 U.S.C. § 2251, 2251A, or 2252 relating to child pornography;
    10. an offense described in 18 U.S.C. § 1962 relating to investing income derived from racketeer-influenced organizations;
    11. offenses relating to owning, controlling, managing, or supervising a prostitution business or an offense described in various sections of Title 18 relating to slavery, peonage, and involuntary servitude;
    12. offenses relating to gathering or transmitting national defense information, disclosing of classified information, treason, or intentionally disclosing the identity of undercover intelligence agents;
    13. offenses involving fraud in which the loss to the victim exceeds $200,000, or tax evasion in which the revenue loss to the government exceeds $200,000;
    14. an offense relating to alien smuggling for commercial advantage;
    15. an offense under 18 U.S.C. § 1546(a) which constitutes trafficking in fraudulent documents for which the term of imprisonment imposed is at least 5 years;
    16. an offense relating to failure to appear by a defendant for service of sentence if the underlying offense is punishable by imprisonment for a term of 15 years or more; and
    17. any attempt or conspiracy to commit one of the above offenses.
    NOTE: The various other grounds for deportation set forth in 8 U.S.C. § 1251 do not provide a basis for a request for a judicial order of deportation.

    [cited in Criminal Resource Manual 1926; USAM 9-73.500]