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(US GOVERNMENT) a person who may be deported for any reason. Removable aliens include

*people who entered the USA unlawfully, such as crossing the border without documents;
*people who entered the USA lawfully but overstayed their visas, or else did something that violated the terms of their visa (usually, working for a living);
*people who are lawful resident immigrants, but who committed a felony (US law classifies many petty crimes as a felony, including giving incorrect information on a federal job application);
*people who are lawful residents and who have scrupulously obeyed other US laws, but who have suffered the misfortune of contracting a dangerous illness (including while in the USA);
*people who are lawful refugees and legally entitled to sanctuary, but whose presence under US protection is diplomatically embarrassing.

The term "removable alien" seems to have been coined in a 2005 addendum to the federal code (Title 8, CFR 241.14), which is where this information comes from.
The Service shall continue to detain a removable alien where the Attorney General or Deputy Attorney General has certified in writing that:

(i) Without regard to the grounds upon which the alien has been found inadmissible or removable, the alien is a person described in section 212(a)(3)(C) or section 237(a)(4)(C) of the Act;

(ii) The alien's release is likely to have serious adverse foreign policy consequences for the United States

(Title 8, CFR 241.14)
by Primus Intra Pares June 19, 2010
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