In the complex realm of immigration law, the intersection of crimes and deportation is an intricate and often bewildering landscape. For immigrants with criminal records, the threat of deportation looms large, casting a shadow over their lives in the United States. One avenue that has provided relief for some individuals facing deportation due to criminal convictions is the 212(c) waiver. In this article, I, as an experienced immigration and criminal defense attorney in New York and New Jersey, will shed light on the intricacies of crimes and deportation, focusing on the role of the 212(c) waiver as a potential lifeline.

Understanding the Basics

Citizenship and Green Card (Lawful Permanent Resident) Status

Before delving into the nuances of deportation relief, it is crucial to establish a foundation by understanding the basic concepts of citizenship and Green Card status.

  • Citizenship: Citizenship refers to an individual’s legal status as a citizen of a particular country. In the context of the United States, it grants individuals certain rights and privileges, including protection from deportation.
  • Green Card (Lawful Permanent Resident) Status: A Green Card holder, or lawful permanent resident, is an immigrant authorized to live and work in the United States indefinitely. However, Green Card holders are not immune to deportation if they commit certain crimes.

Deportation Consequences of Criminal Convictions

The Intersection of Crimes and Immigration

The intersection of crimes and immigration law can be perplexing. Some criminal convictions can trigger deportation proceedings, putting immigrants in a precarious situation. Common deportable offenses include:

  1. Crimes of Moral Turpitude: These are crimes that involve dishonesty, fraud, or acts that go against community standards of honesty and good morals. Examples include theft, fraud, and domestic violence.
  2. Aggravated Felonies: Convictions for crimes categorized as aggravated felonies under immigration law, such as murder, rape, and drug trafficking, often lead to mandatory deportation.
  3. Firearms Offenses: Possession or use of firearms in the commission of a crime can result in deportation.
  4. Controlled Substance Offenses: Drug-related offenses, including possession, trafficking, or distribution, can trigger deportation proceedings.

Relief from Deportation: The 212(c) Waiver

One potential avenue for relief from deportation for lawful permanent residents with criminal convictions is the 212(c) waiver. This waiver, while no longer available for new applicants, can still benefit those who applied before April 1, 1997. The 212(c) waiver allows eligible individuals to seek relief from deportation based on their equities and long-standing ties to the United States.

Navigating the Complex Legal Landscape

Eligibility and Application Process

To apply for a 212(c) waiver, eligible individuals must meet specific criteria, including having:

  • Lawful permanent resident status.
  • A qualifying criminal conviction.
  • Resided continuously in the U.S. for at least seven years.
  • Demonstrated good moral character during their time in the U.S.

The application process involves gathering evidence, preparing a strong case, and presenting it before an immigration judge.

Legal Representation and Advocacy

Navigating the complexities of immigration law, especially when crimes are involved, requires legal expertise. As an experienced immigration and criminal defense attorney, I have helped numerous clients secure relief from deportation through the 212(c) waiver. My experience in handling cases in New York and New Jersey has provided me with valuable insights into the intricacies of this process.


Crimes and deportation are two legal realms that intersect in the lives of many immigrants. Understanding the implications of criminal convictions on immigration status and exploring potential avenues for relief, such as the 212(c) waiver, is essential. With the guidance of an experienced attorney, individuals facing deportation due to criminal convictions can navigate this challenging terrain and work towards securing their future in the United States.

Explore the following articles to learn more:

  1. The Significance of 212a6ci Material Misrepresentation in U.S. Immigration
  2. A Deep Dive into Section 212a3c of the Immigration and Nationality Act
  3. How to Apply for the 212a6ci Waiver: A Step-by-Step Guide
  4. Cancellation of Removal: An Alternative to the 212c Waiver for Aggravated Felonies
  5. Navigating the Rehabilitation Requirement for a 212c Waiver
  6. Understanding the 212c Waiver for Aggravated Felonies in Immigration Law
  7. Crimes and Deportation: Navigating the Intersection after 212c Waiver
  8. Current Immigration Laws: Understanding the Aftermath of the 212c Waiver Removal
  9. Deportation Relief Alternatives: Exploring Options Beyond 212c Waiver
  10. The Elimination of the 212c Waiver: Reasons and Impact
  11. The History and Origins of the 212c Waiver
  12. Gaining Relief under Section 212 (C): Disparate Results Based on Geographic Location OL Torres – Geo. Immigr. LJ, 1994 – HeinOnline