Many immigrants have questions about Criminal Charges and Immigration today. This is especially true in the wake of increasing government focus on immigration laws in the US. With this in mind, it is important to know how criminal convictions can and will affect immigration.
Criminal Convictions and Immigration Status
There are two categories of crimes in US criminal law. Depending on the crime you face conviction on, and the severity of that crime, you could face deportation.
Misdemeanor crimes are the lesser of the two categories. This means you will not likely face immediate deportation upon committing a misdemeanor. This is, of course, unless you are in the US illegally. However, two or more misdemeanors can result in deportation for non-citizens with any type of temporary legal status.
Under 8 U.S.C. §1-101(a)(43), felonies will likely result in a deportation. Aggravated felonies even more so lead to deportation. As a result, any crime such as theft, murder, trafficking in labor or sex, domestic violence and more are solid ground to begin a deportation proceeding. Further, aggravated felonies also include illegal weapon trafficking, drug trade, or contempt of court. Domestic violence is also a deportable crime.
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Results of Criminal Charges and Immigration on Legal Status
Crimes will have varying effects on different statuses of immigration:
– Lawful Permanent Residents = All felony convictions may result in deportation with potential bars to re-entering the US. If courts decide against deportation, you may receive a bar to ever becoming a citizen.
– Refugee = all criminal activity is deportable.
– Non-Citizen with an Employment or Student Visa = felonies or 2or more misdemeanors are deportable.
– Asylee = deportation will only happen to someone seeking asylum if it is particularly heinous.
– Non-Citizen with Illegal Status = all crimes are deportable.
Once you deport, you generally cannot return to the US for a period of 5 to 10 years. Two convictions will extend this waiting period to 20 years.
Kania Law Immigration Attorneys
Immigrants often worry about deportation and what can cause it since separation from families and good careers is nothing someone wants. Thus, our attorneys understand that Criminal Charges and Immigration is something worth fighting. If you need more information or assistance, call our offices. First consultation is free.