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Immigrants, whether they hold a visa or a green card, must follow the laws of the country or risk deportation. Unfortunately, some of the crimes that can result in deportation may be minor.

Immigration law can be difficult to understand, as it includes both federal and state laws. Understanding what constitutes a criminal conviction may be helpful to avoid deportation.

Felony crimes

According to FindLaw, the courts consider aggravated felonies to be deportable crimes. These include perhaps obvious crimes such as murder, rape, firearm offenses and additional violent crimes. However, some of the crimes the Immigration and Nationality Act consider to be felonies come with a misdemeanor charge instead.

Misdemeanors and immorality crimes

A misdemeanor in and of itself does not constitute a deportable offense, but some, such as theft, certain violent crimes and the failure to appear in court, may result in deportation. The INA also lists deportable crimes as those that violate the trust of individuals or the United States. Some examples of these crimes include fraud, embezzlement, assault, perjury and shoplifting.

In general, the amount of imprisonment time factors in to whether a court orders deportation. Crimes that come with a penalty of a minimum of one year in prison generally apply, although multiple misdemeanors with less jail time may result in the possibility of deportation.

According to PBS News Hour, even crimes that have resulted in no jail time may make an immigrant eligible for deportation. Although a little more than half of deportations include individuals who had criminal convictions, the remaining ones may have had some contact with the justice system but never faced jail penalty. Even immigrants who served time for convicted crimes in the past may be eligible for deportation.