Immigration and Criminal Convictions

immigration and criminal convictions

Immigration and criminal convictions or charges often end up with ICE holds. Immigration and Deportation are hot topics in the American mainstream today.  With all of the social and political roiling, some people may be asking the question: What affect do criminal convictions have on immigration?  There are many different aspects to immigration and criminal convictions that could affect you or a loved one living in the US on immigrant status.

Immigration and Criminal Convictions Causing Deportation:

Criminal convictions are a major problem for any immigrant or non-resident of the US who lives within the country.  Depending on the type of status a person has and the severity of the crime, the outcomes may be different.

Misdemeanor Convictions and Immigration

Misdemeanors are generally not grounds for immediate deportation, unless you are in the country illegally.  In this case, any crime may result in deportation.  Further, having two or more misdemeanors may result in deportation for non-citizens who have temporary legal status.    However, more serious offenses generally are the main grounds for deporting an immigrant.

Felony Convictions and Immigration

According to 8 U.S.C. §1-101(a)(43), felonies and aggravated felonies are much more likely to end up in deportation. Under 8 U.S.C. §1227(a)(2)(A)(i) crimes of moral turpitude—theft, murder, sex crimes, human trafficking—are grounds for deportation if occurring within 5 years of entering the U.S.  Other aggravated felony crimes include spying, tax evasion, trafficking in weapons or drugs, or failure to appear in court as well as others.  Further, any crimes of domestic violence are also deportable crimes.

Immigration Status and Other Legal Consequences:

Again, depending on your legal status, consequences vary slightly.

  1. Legal Permanent Resident: felony convictions are deportable with a possible bar to re-entry.  However, if you are not deported then you may beimmigration and criminal convictions subject to a permanent bar to attaining citizenship.
  2. Refugee: For refugees, criminal activity is immediately deportable.
  3. Asylee (person receiving asylum): deportation occurs for only those crimes which are “particularly serious”.  This is due to the fact asylees are sent back to a situation where their life is in extreme danger.
  4. Non-citizen with Temporary Legal Status: deportation may occur for felonies or 2+ misdemeanors.
  5. Non-citizen with Illegal Status: any crime is deportable.

Any deportation may result in a 5 to 10 years waiting period before you may legally re-enter the U.S.  But, if you receive a second conviction the waiting period extends to 20 years.  However, if you are deported for an aggravated felony, you will likely be unable to legally return at any point.

Take a Look at This Criminal Defense Drug Charge Article

Criminal Legal Support in Tulsa Oklahoma

Deportation is a serious problem for many people with immigrants in their families.  Being separate from your family for up to 10 years is significant time away.  Our attorneys understand that immigration and criminal convictions can be an uncomfortable topic for many immigrants.  We not only understand, but we can help you navigate the system in order to give you the best possible defense. Email or Call 918.416.0358