Cr Immigration, as the name implies, is where criminal and immigration laws meet. In essence, it refers to crimes that can affect the immigration status of a non-citizen. A criminal conviction can lead to removal proceedings and eventual deportation in the most severe cases. But even if deportation is avoided, a criminal conviction for a non-citizen can affect their current and future immigration efforts, as it may prevent a successful application for permanent residency or citizenship.
It is of the utmost importance to understand how seriously USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) takes a criminal record regarding any decisions they make about an immigration candidate. A condition of permanent residency is that the person does not pose a security risk to the public or the country’s interests and is of good moral character. Both these requirements are quite vague and leave much up to interpretation. Cr immigration laws put forth the idea that any non-citizen who commits a crime, even a minor one, violates one of these requirements.
Do Criminal Charges Always Lead to Deportation?
Though any conviction of a crime may be a severe detriment to an immigrant’s life and potential future status in the United States, not all will lead to deportation. Generally, any violent offense will likely lead to removal proceedings. Crimes like murder, kidnapping, rape, or child abuse are some examples of deportable crimes, but less serious violations may also put an immigrant in danger of deportation.
Especially in recent times, cr immigration policies have become ever more stringent and harsh. This means that relatively minor offenses such as drug possession, petty theft, or even academic fraud can lead to removal proceedings. Crimes that point to an immigrant not being of good moral character are called crimes of moral turpitude, and an offense that falls into this category can lead to deportation. While this type of crime is not explicitly defined, it often includes crimes involving dishonesty, theft, or intent to harm people or things. This means that even something like a non-violent theft charge can lead to removal proceedings, given the ambiguity of what “good moral character” means.
Can I be Deported for a Crime if I have a Green Card?
Even someone who has already been issued a green card and therefore has lawful permanent residence can face deportation for a criminal conviction. This means that though you may be granted the right to live and work in the United States, these rights depend on strict adherence to specific rules and can be taken away from you. Only those who have become citizens are safe from the possibility of deportation, with the one exception of if citizenship was obtained through fraud.
How Can a Lawyer Help with a Cr Immigration Case?
It has become essential for any immigrant brought up on criminal charges to have an attorney experienced in immigration law. A typical defense attorney may unintentionally put their non-citizen client in harm’s way. For example, taking a plea deal that admits any culpability, while it may be the best option for a citizen, can be sufficient grounds for the removal of an immigrant, even with a minor offense.
To have the best chance of staying in the U.S. and avoiding any negative future immigration implications for a criminal charge, non-citizens will need an attorney who understands Cr Immigration, who can provide the best defense possible, and if necessary, defend against removal.
For a dedicated immigration criminal defense lawyer, call (408) 645-6395 now.