The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) §237(a)(2)(E)(i) makes a non – U.S. citizen deportable if he or she is convicted of a crime of domestic violence, stalking, child abuse, child neglect, or child abandonment. Immigration attorneys often litigate whether a state conviction can be the basis for a federal deportation. The language in the state statute often must fit squarely within federal definitions to result in deportation based on a specific conviction. For example, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) has determined that a conviction for “child endangerment” in Pennsylvania is not a conviction for “a crime of domestic violence, stalking, child abuse, child neglect, or child abandonment,” for purposes of INA §237(a)(2)(E)(i). In re Jose De Jesus Murillo Gutierrez, A207 105 449 (BIA May 12, 2017)
What is the Federal Immigration Law relating to child abuse?
Any person who is not a United States citizen and is convicted for a crime of child abuse is deportable. It doesn’t matter how long you have been in the United States or if this was a first offense or if you are a good person. The statute is clear. Now, you may have what is called a “form of relief,” available, but that is another issue. That is kind of like an affirmative defense. But a one time conviction for a child abuse offense can and usually will lead to the government issuing and filing a Notice to Appear, initiating deportation proceedings.