Under most circumstances, if you are in the U.S. without legal status, it is not a crime. Anyhow, once an alien has been removed or deported from the States, he or she may not return. If you will be found into the United States after being deported, you will be charged with illegal reentry, a federal immigration crime.
In fact, Title 8 U.S. Code 1326 states that is illegal for any person who “has been denied admission, excluded, deported, or removed or has departed the United States while an order of exclusion, deportation, or removal is outstanding” to enter, attempt to enter, or at any time be found in the United States. This means that it is a federal crime for an individual to be in the United States following any sort of removal action.
Under Title 8 U.S. Code 1326, the “basic statutory maximum penalty for reentry after deportation is a fine under Title 18, imprisonment for not more than 2 years, or both.” However, if a person was removed because of a felony conviction or convictions for three or more misdemeanors, the penalty can be up to 10 years in prison as well as a possible fine. If the conviction was for an aggravated felony, then the possible punishment is a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and/or a fine.
An immigrant that is convicted of illegal reentry has virtually no chance to obtain any immigration benefit. Illegal reentry is an aggravated felony under U.S. immigration laws. A conviction can be avoided only through the skilled representation of a good criminal and immigration lawyer.