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Are You Facing Deportation Due To Federal Charges?

By Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney on May 2, 2022

Immigrants, even those with green cards, may be deported when proof that they have been convicted of a crime exists, particularly one that is referred to as an “aggravated felony” or a “crime of moral turpitude.” Additionally, the legislation clearly lists a number of crimes that can result in deportation.

An aggravated felony is a crime punishable by a term of imprisonment of at least one year or any other punishment that can be imposed for committing a felony.

Aggravated felony includes the following: murder, manslaughter, sexual abuse of a minor, child pornography, domestic violence robbery (aggravated), and aggravated assault (aggravated). These offenses are among others that would constitute an aggravated felony. The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) contains a comprehensive list of all offenses that, in accordance with immigration law (which is distinct from criminal law), are deemed to be aggravated felonies.

Crimes of moral turpitude are defined as acts that are harmful to society and cause serious harm to individuals or society. According to Department of State guidance, “fraud, larceny, and intent to injure persons or things” are the three most common components of a moral turpitude crime.

Section 237 of the INA contains a comprehensive list of offenses and other grounds for deportation.

Inadmissible Crimes

In the United States, an inadmissible crime is a crime that prevents you from being able to enter the country. Inadmissible crimes include those that have been committed in the United States or abroad by US citizens or green card holders, as well as crimes committed outside the country by non-US citizens and non-green card holders.

There are two types of inadmissible crimes: aggravated felonies and crimes involving moral turpitude (CIMT). Which specific offenses or infractions are a concern for someone applying for a visa or green card to the United States? INA Section 212, contains the list.

Not all crimes constitute a categorical impediment to admission. In some circumstances, you may ask the person making the decision in your case for a waiver (legal pardon) allowing you to proceed with your application. Section 212(h) of the INA provides information on the available waivers.

Post-conviction Relief

Criminal law and immigration law are two distinct systems. Your immigration case won’t necessarily benefit if you seek to have your criminal record cleared or have your sentence decreased. In fact, using state-authorized post-conviction relief methods, like erasing the offense from one’s record or decreasing the sentence, won’t typically be effective for immigration purposes.

Cancellation of Removal

Cancellation of removal is a form of relief from deportation that allows certain individuals to remain in the US rather than being forced to leave the country.

It’s important to note that cancellation of removal is considered a form of relief rather than an affirmative right to stay in the US. It must be requested by the immigrant, who must show that they have been living in the country for at least ten years and that they would suffer extreme hardship if they were deported. The immigrant must also show that they are not deportable on any other grounds besides having entered illegally or having committed a crime of moral turpitude. The specific provision is outlined in 8 US Code § 1229b.

It is important to note that cancellation of removal isn’t always easy—you need an attorney who understands how these cases work and knows how to prepare them correctly.

Have Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP on Your Side

If you have been arrested for a deportable crime, the best way to protect yourself is by having an experienced immigration attorney review your case before any adverse action occurs in order to determine whether you are eligible for relief from deportation.

Do not hesitate to contact Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP at (213) 688-0460 if you need help determining how best to proceed with your application process or if you have any questions about what lies ahead for you in this regard.

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Posted in: Criminal Defense