Blog posts tagged in Chicago deportation defense attorneys
Being brought up on criminal charges is always frightening and disconcerting. For non-citizen defendants, there is an added dimension to fear. Depending on the nature of the crime committed, it can sometimes be used as a tool for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to deport you. If you have committed a crime, it is imperative that you understand the nature of the charges against you and be aware as to whether it could result in immigration consequences.
Crimes of Moral Turpitude
Many foreign nationals living in the U.S. have had run-ins with law enforcement, though the end results can be anything from a warning to a murder conviction. A significant portion of the crimes that have been alleged against them fall under a category USCIS refers to as crimes of moral turpitude (CIMTs). If you commit a crime of moral turpitude within two years of your admission to the U.S., or more than one in a ‘single scheme’ within five years of admission, it is grounds for deportation.
The United States has granted an immigration status called Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for nearly two decades, beginning in 1990 with the Immigration Act. However, in early 2017, the U.S. State Department sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which oversees the program, and advised that certain groups “no longer need[ed] to be shielded from deportation” in the Secretary’s estimation. While this is not an official revocation of status, it paves the way for what will likely become a revocation. This means that some living under TPS will need to quickly depart lest they face future immigration consequences.
Who Has TPS?
Temporary Protected Status is granted at the discretion of the Secretary of Homeland Security to those nationals who hail from countries where conditions make it impossible to safely return at the time the status is granted—usually due to ongoing war or natural disasters. The status is usually revoked when conditions in the country are deemed to have sufficiently improved. For example, TPS was granted to Rwandans following the 1994 genocide in their country, and was rescinded in 1997 after the country’s political system had stabilized and it was deemed safe to allow nationals to return.
Barring a last-minute volte-face, the President has made the decision to officially end the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals (DACA) program initiated by his predecessor. He has stated that the official date for DACA to end will not be immediately, however; rather, in six months’ time the program will officially expire.
Regardless of specific dates, this decision has the potential to cause approximately 800,000 people to either be deported or temporarily removed from the only home many have ever known. If you are one of those people, there are factors you need to know.
Undocumented Status Creates Problems
The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act has been proposed in Congress several times before 2017, with the most recent being 2011 (though in 2012 President Obama directed his administration to use the criteria contained in the DREAM Act in determining whether or not to deport young undocumented people). On July 20, 2017, it was introduced again, by Sens. Lindsey Graham and Dick Durbin, in a bipartisan initiative, and in a slightly different format than previously proposed.
Graham and Durbin, both members of the “Gang of 8” that authored a comprehensive immigration reform bill in 2013 yet never made it out of committee, have made it clear that they believe the best way forward is to explore extending Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status to Dreamers (the young people who would be affected by the passage of such a law).
Not content with arresting nearly 40 percent more immigrants on average since the new administration took office, in July 2017 the Department of Homeland Security and the White House began to investigate the possibility of expanding expedited removals, which would significantly alter the immigration landscape in the United States for a multitude of reasons.
The move would not be without controversy at a political level, but immigrant rights groups are incensed at what they argue would be a near-unlimited authority to arrest anyone without status, regardless of potential extenuating circumstances.
If you are undocumented, being conversant with the nitty-gritty details of the law may at least make your next steps more clear.