Inadmissible vs. Deportable: Not the Same - DuPage County Immigration Attorneys | Mevorah Law Offices LLC
Button 3 Button 1 Button 2 Button 4 Button 5 Button 6
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
Free Initial Consultation | Se habla español 630-932-9100
Mevorah Law Offices LLC
DuPage County Attorneys


900 E. Roosevelt Road, Lombard, IL 60148

Phone: 630-932-9100


134 N. Bloomingdale Road, Bloomingdale, IL 60108

Phone: 630-529-4761


105 W. Madison Street, Suite 2200, Chicago, IL 60602

Phone: 630-932-9100


1730 Park Street, Suite 202, Naperville, IL 60563

Phone: 630-420-1000

Inadmissible vs. Deportable: Not the Same

Posted on in Immigration
  • Font size: Larger Smaller
  • Print

deportable, illegal immigration, Chicago Deportation AttorneysWhen an illegal immigrant has been charged with a crime and is found guilty, he or she may be referred to as being found inadmissible or deportable. However, inadmissibility and deportability are not the same. Each refers to a different legal status, and confusing the two is not advisable. Both must be dealt with differently in terms of arguing against removability.


Inadmissibility deals with the rules surrounding those who want to enter the United States, in either an immigrant or non-immigrant capacity. Deportability is the power of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to keep someone from staying in the United States. There are several different reasons why one may be rendered inadmissible; however, most of the reasons why someone may be rendered deportable have to deal with criminal acts.

U.S. immigration law recognizes two different categories of crime that can affect one’s immigration status. The first is aggravated felonies (AFs), which are defined primarily in 8 USC §1101. AFs are crimes which involve particularly serious offenses against morality, such as murder, sexual assault and kidnapping. However, the difficulty is that some crimes which are not felonies under criminal law are still considered AFs for immigration purposes. Hence, this can lead to significant confusion. Examples include bribery, obstruction of justice, and failing to appear in court (if the underlying offense carries a penalty of more than one year).

The second category of crime is crimes involving moral turpitude (CIMTs), which actually have no specific definition in U.S. law, but involve at least one element that constitutes moral turpitude: fraud, larceny, and/or intent to harm. If someone commits a CIMT within five years of admission into the country, or commits two CIMTs within a single ‘scheme’ or enterprise—for example, kidnapping and transporting a minor across state lines are two CIMTs that make up a single endeavor—he or she is eligible to be removed. Crimes of moral turpitude may also be aggravated felonies, and aggravated felonies may be CIMTs, but the two categories do not have to overlap.

Confusing Consequences

Being convicted of an aggravated felony will almost always render someone deportable, meaning that he or she can be expelled from the country. However, not all aggravated felonies will render someone inadmissible. Because the rules regarding CIMTs and AFs are somewhat convoluted, it is possible for a crime to render someone both inadmissible and deportable. It may simply confer inadmissibility or deportability, but it is possible to be judged both.

Also, there are several exceptions to both sets of rules. For example, a ‘petty offense exception’ exists which can render a CIMT conviction not usable for deportation purposes. This comes from immigration case law, notably Matter of Mendoza, decided in 1965, and it states that a conviction for one CIMT may be set aside if certain requirements are met. They are:

    • If the offense’s maximum penalty was no more than one year; and

    • If the person was sentenced to no more than six months’ time.

If you can prove these two criteria via documentation, you may be able to have a CIMT conviction set aside—but only once, and only for one CIMT; if you have committed more than one in a scheme, you may not have your record expunged.

Seek Experienced Professional Assistance

If you have been convicted of a crime, regardless of whether it makes you deportable or inadmissible, you may need to seek assistance. The skilled Chicago deportation attorneys at Mevorah Law Offices LLC have years of experience with these matters. We are happy to put it to work for you. Contact us today.

Latest Blog Posts


  • DuPage County Immigration Lawyers
  • Elite Lawyer
  • National Association of Distinguished Counsel
  • Top 40 Under 40
  • 2015 Top 40 Lawyers Under 40
  • Super Lawyers
  • Better Business Bureau

Let us start helping you with a FREE initial consultation.

NOTE: Fields with a * indicate a required field.

One Stop For All Your Legal Needs

Whether you are going through a divorce, injured in an accident, need to file a workers' compensation claim, charged with a crime, immigrating to the United States, or need to file for bankruptcy, Mevorah Law Offices LLC can help. Our trial lawyers have over 40 years of experience helping clients throughout Northern Illinois from four offices in Lombard, Bloomindale, Naperville, St. Charles, and Chicago.

Steven Mevorah has assembled experienced attorneys under one roof so that his clients need not search for a new attorney each time they need help. Mr. Mevorah has also established a wide network of additional attorneys so that his clients merely need to stop by Mevorah Law Offices LLC to find the attorney they need.

Client Focused Representation

Our practice is focused on meeting your needs with flexible hours and locations to serve you:

  • Free initial consultations
  • Saturday and evening appointments available
  • Home and hospital visits if your injuries prevent you from traveling
  • Multiple locations throughout Chicagoland
  • Veteran trial attorneys
  • Experienced negotiators
  • Payment plans available
  • Cash, check, or credit card accepted