The immigration process can be long and complicated. However, if an individual who is trying to immigrate to the United States commits certain crimes, he or she might be deported. Even if the immigrant possesses a green card, he or she is subject to deportation if he or she violates U.S. immigration laws. If there is substantial evidence that a crime has been committed and the person was convicted, an immigrant can be subject to removal proceedings. It is important to understand the immigration criminal defense proceedings if you or a loved is charged with a crime that is classified as “deportable.”
Immigrants face the risk of being deported if they are convicted of specific types of crime. A “crime of moral turpitude” (CMT) or is not defined very well under U.S. immigration law. It is important to note, however, the Department of State states that the typical conditions of a moral turpitude crime include “larceny, fraud, and intent to hurt persons or things.” Crimes that involve theft and dishonesty are considered this type of crime. Other examples include assault with intent to kill or rob someone; aggravated DUI or DWI; and spousal abuse.
An “aggravated felony” under immigration law differs from criminal law. The list of these types of felonies can be found in the Immigration and Nationality Act. Some of these crimes include:
If someone is convicted of an aggravated felony, not much can be done to avoid deportation. One exception is if it can be proven that a person will likely be tortured in his or her native country upon return.
The below instances constitute placing an individual into removal (deportation) proceedings if he or she has committed a crime of moral turpitude:
A person commits a moral turpitude crime within a five-year period after admittance to the United States.
A person commits two or more moral turpitude crimes that were not the result of a single act of criminal misconduct after admittance to the United States.
If a person is convicted of these crimes, a judge will order the immigrant to be put on the immigration deportation list to be deported. However, he or she may be eligible to apply for and receive a waiver of grounds of removal.
In some scenarios, an immigrant can apply or reapply for a green card as a defense to deportation. That, in addition to a “212(h) waiver,” regardless of having committed a moral turpitude crime, is a means of legally forgiving the crime.
A waiver to return to the United States is not available for any aggravated felony convictions. That is why it is so important for an immigrant to obtain competent legal counsel to help avoid an aggravated felony conviction that will permanently render an individual inadmissible to the United States. In some instances, there may be a lack of evidence for committing the crime or law enforcement officials did not follow proper procedures during or after the arrest.
Under the U.S. Constitution, immigrants have rights, including the right to remain silent and the right to a lawyer. If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges during the immigration process, it is imperative that you seek professional legal advice. An aggressive Illinois immigration attorney will advocate on your behalf to possibly lower or dismiss your charges so you can maintain your legal status in the United States. At the Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices, our dedicated attorneys have experience in handling many different types of criminal and immigration issues. Call our office today at 630-932-9100 to schedule a complimentary consultation.
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