25 Bizarre Reasons People Have Been Deported

Posted by , Updated on April 23, 2024

Since the dawn of human civilization, frontiers have been drawn, countries divided, and blockades built to ward off foreign invasion. Nonetheless, there’s a natural urge in people to seek a better life beyond their present circumstances. Such conflicting desires often place immigrants, irrespective of their legality, in continual danger of being forced out of a country. At times, the grounds for their deportation can be quite strange, whether they are legitimate or not. Curious to uncover the peculiar reasons people have been forcefully ousted from a country? Explore these 25 Unusual Reasons Why People Have Been Deported.



In Kuwait, Thousands Deported for Speeding

kuwaitSource: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/kuwait/10066963/Speeding-Thats-deportation-for-you...-Kuwait-targets-its-expat-population.html

In 2013, Kuwait did a major crackdown on their expatriate population by deporting any of them caught speeding. Not only that, but driving without a license, using their cars for paying passengers, or jumping a red light got them booted out of the country without a court order. In total, they deported 1,258 people for traffic violations.


Woman Deported for Tattoo

buddhaSource: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/srilanka/10779032/Sri-Lanka-turns-away-British-tourist-for-Buddha-tattoo.html

A British woman entering Sri Lanka was immediately detained when authorities took offense to her tattoo with a picture of Buddha. She was arrested at their main airport and appeared before a magistrate. Without saying what charges were being brought against her, they ordered her deportation.


Deported for Having a Guitar

guitarSource: https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/jmbx4k/i-was-given-a-full-body-search-by-american-border-guards

A man who wanted to tour the American south and play gigs with his guitar, following in the footsteps of Johnny Cash and Elvis, was detained at customs, aggressively questioned, threatened with jail time, and body searched. Eventually, they didn’t allow him to enter the United States for illegal business reasons and sent him back to Europe.


Deported for Admitting to Smoking Weed

colorado grunge flagSource: https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/5gqp5q/when-immigrants-are-deported-for-smoking-weed

An immigrant from Chile flew to Los Angeles to meet up with her long-distance boyfriend, but she never it made it through customs. Flagged for multiple trips into the United States, she was thoroughly questioned and her wallet, cell phone, emails, and photos were searched. Then they asked her if she had ever smoked weed. She said she had in Colorado once, which was enough for them to detain her for 15 hours before flying her back to Chile.


Father Taking Daughter to School Gets Deported

schoolSource: http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/03/us/california-father-ice-arrest-trnd/

While driving his 13-year-old daughter to school, Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez was pulled over by ICE agents and arrested for being an undocumented immigrant. He would routinely take her to school before going to work at a restaurant. He’d been living in the United States for 25 years.


Deported for Not Getting Auto Insurance

auto insuranceSource: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/apr/21/immigration-families-deportation-crackdown-donald-trump

José Gutiérrez Castañeda went to the courthouse to pay overdue fines for a few driving infractions, one of which was not having auto insurance. When he arrived, immigration authorities detained him and he faced deportation.


Chinese Student Deported for Shopping

shoppingSource: https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/chinese-student-to-be-deported-because-of-shopping-trip-to-belfast-29481115.html

Qiaohua Zhang, a young Chinese woman studying in Dublin, was shopping in Belfast when she was detained and threatened with deportation. Her visa had expired, and she was trying to negotiate an extension before they threw her in jail. At the time of reporting, her court hearings were still underway.


Student is Expelled and Deported for Kissing

kissingSource: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/foreign-student-expelled-and-deported-for-kissing-another-student/article/2590140

Bongani Radebe, a South African native, came to the United States to seek an education and went to Edmonds Community College in Seattle, Washington. When Radebe invited a 17-year-old girl to his dorm room, he asked if he could kiss her and she agreed. But later, she accused him of sexual assault. Due to the accusation, Radebe was expelled, removed from his dorm, and deported back to South Africa.


Man Deported After Mother Makes a Paperwork Error

paperworkSource: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-39295297

At age 15, Jose Escobar immigrated legally to the United States from El Salvador with his mother. They were issued protective status. Years later, when his mother made a paperwork error, the protection lapsed and Escobar was ordered to be deported when he checked in with ICE.


Grandmother Deported for Voting

votingSource: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/immigration/grandmother-deported-voter-fraud-leaves-u-s-tears-n789766

Accused of voter fraud, Margarita Fitzpatrick, a grandmother living in Lawrence, Kansas, was put on a plane to go to back to Peru. She had been fighting court battles for ten years to drop the case against her. Admitting to casting two ballots, Fitzpatrick said she was misled at the time. When she went to apply for U.S. citizenship, she admitted to voting without citizenship, and immigration officers worked to have her deported.


4-Year-Old U.S. Citizen Deported to Guatemala

customsSource: https://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/30/4-year-old-citizen-who-was-deported-comes-back/

After returning from a five-month trip to Guatemala with her grandfather, 4-year-old Emily Ruiz was detained at Dulles International Airport upon her return to the United States. Immigration officials stopped her grandfather from entering the country, leaving Ruiz in a predicament because both her parents were illegal immigrants, but she is a U.S. citizen. So, she was deported back to Guatemala with her grandfather. Eventually, she returned and reunited with her parents at Kennedy International airport.


Man is Deported After Checking in with ICE

ICESource: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-39371204

A Mexican native who immigrated to the United States in 1998 was almost deported before his lawyer convinced ICE agents to be lenient. They agreed and gave them man a driver’s license, social security number, and a work permit. The man put down roots and worked for twenty years in the States. Part of the condition was that he had to check in with ICE every year. When he checked in to ICE, they detained him and deported him due to Trump’s new immigration policies. To make matters worse, his wife voted for Trump, thinking her husband was safe.


Immigrant Detained Moments After Speaking

dacaSource: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/03/01/immigrant-talks-deportation-fears-detained-ice-moments-later/98603800/

When twenty-two-year-old Daniela Vargas spoke about her fears of deportation at a news conference in Jackson, Mississippi, the last thing she probably expected was to be detained almost immediately by ICE. But, that’s exactly what happened. She came to the States when she was seven, putting her under the protection of the Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals.


Honduran Man Deported for Getting Hurt at Work

lawnmowerSource: https://www.npr.org/2017/08/16/543650270/they-got-hurt-at-work-then-they-got-deported

Originally from Honduras, Nixon Arias worked landscaping in the United States for years before falling off his lawnmower and hurting his back. Getting worker’s compensation, he was about to get a procedure to help his chronic pain. However, the insurance company discovered he used a fake social security number and denied his claim. Soon after, he was detained for insurance fraud and spent a year and a half in jail before being deported.


Korean Man Deported for Being an Orphan

seoulSource: https://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/01/magazine/adam-crapsers-bizarre-deportation-odyssey.html

Born Shin Song Hyuk, Adam Crapser came to the United States from Seoul at the age of 3 after he was abandoned by his parents. Raised in a couple of severely abusive foster homes, he didn’t have the best childhood. Eventually, he found his way, got a full-time job, and started to raise a family. However, his foster parents never bothered to get him U.S. citizenship and eventually immigration authorities came for him. At the time of reporting, he was facing his first deportation hearing.


Pregnant Woman Deported to Mexico

pregnantSource: http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2011/05/04/pregnant-dallas-mother-deported-to-mexico/

Betty Lopez was taken from her family in Texas when it was discovered she was in the country illegally. Despite being pregnant and her entire family being U.S. citizens, immigration authorities still detained and deported her back to Mexico.


American Citizen Deported after Being Coerced

mexico borderSource: http://www.nbcnews.com/id/39180275/ns/us_news-immigration_a_nation_divided/t/wrongfully-deported-american-home-after-month-fight/#.Wmo_spM-dsN

Nineteen-year-old Luis Alberto Delgado, a U.S. citizen, was pulled over at a traffic stop. He carried his birth certificate, social security card, and Texas ID; it still wasn’t enough to convince authorities he belonged in the U.S. He was taken to the border patrol for further questioning and coerced into signing a document that waived his rights. After which they drove him to Matamoras, Mexico and left him there.


Michelle Yeoh Deported for Having Role in Film

michelle yeohSource: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/burmamyanmar/8602489/Bond-girl-Michelle-Yeoh-deported-from-Burma-over-Aung-San-Suu-Kyi-role.html

Skyrocketing to fame after her role in the James Bond movie Tomorrow Never Dies, Michelle Yeoh later took on the role of the Myanmar democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and got deported for it. When she flew into the city of Rangoon, she was stopped and sent back on the first available flight.


A Man from Senegal Carried a Fake Passport

passportSource: http://old.post-gazette.com/regionstate/20011228fall1228p6.asp

Manel Fall of Senegal arrived in Pittsburgh from Paris with a fake passport. He first told authorities he was named “Amadou Seck” and wanted tourist status. But after immigration services did background checks, they found out he was lying and that his passport was fake. When they asked him in French what his real name was, he said, “It is too early for me to tell you that.” The man served time in jail for three months before being deported and authorities still don’t understand why he lied about his identity.


Teenager Deported for Flashing at a Statue

statueSource: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/6043369/British-teenager-deported-from-Turkey-for-stripping-naked-in-front-of-Ataturk-statue.html

British teenager Thomas Strong ended up in hot water while on vacation in Turkey when he pulled his pants down in front of the statue of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of Turkey’s republic. While flashing the statue, Strong went on a tirade of abuse with a crowd of people around him. He was eventually arrested and taken to a hospital to be examined for mental health issues or intoxication. He was given a full-bill of health. The judge immediately banned the teenager from Turkey for five years and deported him.


Three Men Deported for Being too Handsome

handsomeSource: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/saudiarabia/10000341/Saudi-Arabia-deports-irresistible-men-deemed-too-handsome-to-women.html

Three men from the United Arab Emirates were at the Jenadrivah Heritage & Culture Festival in Saudi Arabia when police officers arrested them for being “too handsome.” They were afraid female visitors would fall for them. The three men were immediately deported back to Abu Dhabi.


Deported Regardless of Homosexual Persecution

gay flagSource: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/26/man-may-be-deported-from-uk-despite-facing-persecution-in-morocco

Fearing persecution for being gay in his home country of Morocco, Abderrahim’s case for asylum in the United Kingdom was rejected, and he was facing deportation at the time of reporting. Homosexuality in Morocco is punishable up to three years in prison.


Arrested for Paying Traffic Ticket

parking ticketSource: http://www.browardpalmbeach.com/news/coral-springs-woman-arrested-facing-deportation-after-paying-traffic-ticket-6461500

A Florida State University graduate was arrested and held at an immigration facility when she went to pay a traffic violation ticket. Her father was seeking political asylum from Colombia, but he passed away and put her status in limbo. Detained, the deportation process had begun for her while her family hired a lawyer to help her stay in the country.


Deported for Impersonating Donald Trump

donald trumpSource: http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/donald-trump-singer-impersonator-deported-america-punk-peter-and-the-test-tube-babies-peter-bywaters-a7876271.htmlhttp://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/donald-trump-singer-impersonator-deported-america-punk-peter-and-the-test-tube-babies-peter-bywaters-a7876271.html

British singer of the band “Peter & The Test Tube Babies,” claims he was detained for six hours and deported for impersonating Donald Trump. He was sent back to London; customs officials deny the claim that it was for the impersonation, but rather because he didn’t have a valid visa.


Stalker Deported for Stealing Queen Victoria's Knickers

queen victoriaSource: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/theroyalfamily/8296233/Stalker-who-stole-Queen-Victorias-knickers-was-deported-to-Australia-academic-reveals.html

Between 1838 and 1841, while only a mere teenager, Edward Jones snuck into Buckingham Palace during Queen Victoria’s reign. He figured out how to get into her private apartments and steal her knickers, among many other creepy things. He was caught, of course, but to keep the royal family from embarrassment, they kept the trial secret. Eventually, they deported him back to Australia.

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