Criminal Immigration Law: Deportation and Related Consequences
As an attorney specializing in immigration and criminal law based in New York and New Jersey, I have navigated the complex intersection of non-citizens’ rights and criminal justice. The implications of criminal convictions on immigration status are nuanced and often result in severe consequences, including deportation. This article seeks to elucidate the intricacies of criminal immigration law and the options available to those facing deportation.
Citizenship and Immigration Status
Citizenship refers to the legal status of a person recognized under the custom or law of a sovereign state or local jurisdiction. A non-citizen, often holding a Green Card (Lawful Permanent Resident status), does not possess the same rights and protections under U.S. immigration law.
Deportation and Criminal Convictions
Deportation, formally known as removal, can be the most severe consequence for a non-citizen who commits a crime. Certain criminal convictions can trigger removal proceedings and the subsequent loss of immigration benefits.
Grounds for Deportation
The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) specifies various crimes that can lead to deportation, including but not limited to:
- Aggravated felonies
- Crimes of moral turpitude
- Drug offenses
- Firearm offenses
- Domestic violence
Relief from Deportation
Several types of relief from deportation exist, and they are numerically listed for clarity:
- Cancellation of Removal: A relief available to certain non-citizens who demonstrate a prolonged period of residence, good moral character, and that deportation would cause exceptional hardship to U.S. citizen or permanent resident family members.
- Asylum: For those who fear persecution in their home country due to race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.
- Adjustment of Status: This may be available if the non-citizen is eligible for a green card.
- Waivers of Inadmissibility: Certain waivers can be granted for specific grounds of deportability.
- Deferred Action: A discretionary, temporary relief from deportation.
Legal Terminology and Processes
- Aggravated Felony: A term defined broadly by immigration law that includes crimes ranging from murder to theft, depending on the sentence imposed.
- Crime of Moral Turpitude: Generally refers to conduct that is inherently base, vile, or depraved, contrary to the accepted rules of morality of the community.
Laws and Regulations
The primary source of law in deportation cases is the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), with specific sections such as 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a) detailing deportable offenses. Additionally, 8 CFR Part 240 governs the proceedings to determine deportability.
Utilizing Legal Abbreviations
- INA: Immigration and Nationality Act
- CFR: Code of Federal Regulations
- USC: United States Code
Starting with the definition of citizenship and progressing through various immigration statuses is crucial to understanding the full scope of deportation relief. Advanced forms of relief, such as Prosecutorial Discretion, require nuanced legal argumentation and are often the last line of defense against deportation.
Drawing from my years of experience in criminal and immigration law, the intersection of these fields is complex and constantly evolving. Non-citizen clients require expert navigation through the potential pitfalls to protect their rights and residency in the United States.
FAQ-Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What crimes can lead to deportation for non-citizens? A: Crimes such as aggravated felonies, crimes of moral turpitude, drug offenses, firearm offenses, and domestic violence can trigger deportation.
Q: Can a non-citizen be deported for a misdemeanor? A: Yes, some misdemeanors fall under the definition of crimes of moral turpitude or can be considered aggravated felonies, depending on the circumstances, leading to deportation.
Q: Is it possible to stop deportation once proceedings have started? A: Yes, there are several forms of relief from deportation that a non-citizen may seek, such as cancellation of removal, asylum, and adjustment of status, among others.
Q: What is an aggravated felony according to immigration law? A: An aggravated felony in the context of immigration law includes a wide range of criminal acts, some of which may not be felonies under regular criminal law, due to the broad definition used by immigration authorities.
Q: Can a Green Card holder be deported for criminal convictions? A: Yes, lawful permanent residents (Green Card holders) can be deported for certain criminal convictions outlined by the Immigration and Nationality Act.
Explore Alternative Immigration Pathways Read our comprehensive guide on alternative immigration pathways: Explore Alternative Immigration Pathways
Asylum in the United States Learn about eligibility criteria and the application process for asylum in the United States: Asylum in the United States
Understanding the Basics: A Stay of Deportation in the U.S. Get insights into the basics of obtaining a stay of deportation in the United States: Understanding the Basics: A Stay of Deportation in the U.S.
Recent Changes in Immigration Law Discover how drug convictions can affect your immigration status with recent legal changes: Recent Changes in Immigration Law
Immigration Waiver for Drug Conviction Learn about the steps to ensure a successful application for an immigration waiver after a drug conviction: Immigration Waiver for Drug Conviction
Avoiding Common Mistakes: Tips for Applying for an Immigration Waiver Get valuable tips for avoiding common mistakes when applying for an immigration waiver after a drug conviction: Avoiding Common Mistakes: Tips for Applying for an Immigration Waiver
The Future of Immigration and Drug Convictions Explore potential legal changes on the horizon regarding immigration and drug convictions: The Future of Immigration and Drug Convictions
Exploring the 1601 Waiver Learn how the 1601 waiver can benefit immigrants facing adversity: Exploring the 1601 Waiver
The Legal Threshold of Second-Degree Aggravated Assault Discover the immigration effects of second-degree aggravated assault: The Legal Threshold of Second-Degree Aggravated Assault
The Deportation Timeline Find out how long it takes ICE to deport someone and understand the deportation timeline: The Deportation Timeline
Exploring Immigration Attorneys Get expert advice, visa updates, and legal insights in our guide to immigration attorneys: Exploring Immigration Attorneys
Navigating the Immigration Maze Gain insights from immigration attorneys on navigating the complexities of immigration law: Navigating the Immigration Maze
Exploring Diverse Aspects of Immigration Law Explore various aspects of immigration law with insights from immigration attorneys: Exploring Diverse Aspects of Immigration Law
Criminal Immigration Law: Deportation and Related Consequences Read about criminal immigration law, deportation, and their related consequences: Criminal Immigration Law: Deportation and Related Consequences
Inadmissibility and the Loss of Immigration Benefits Learn about inadmissibility and its impact on immigration benefits: Inadmissibility and the Loss of Immigration Benefits
The Unintended Consequences of Non-Citizen Criminal Convictions Explore the unintended consequences of criminal convictions for non-citizens: The Unintended Consequences of Non-Citizen Criminal Convictions
Investigating Deportation of Naturalized Citizens Examine pre-naturalization crime cases involving the deportation of naturalized citizens: Investigating Deportation of Naturalized Citizens
Harboring a Suspect or Fugitive in a Federal Criminal Investigation Learn about the legal implications of harboring a suspect or fugitive in a federal criminal investigation: Harboring a Suspect or Fugitive in a Federal Criminal Investigation
Remedies Available Through the Writ of Mandamus Discover the remedies available through the writ of mandamus in immigration cases: Remedies Available Through the Writ of Mandamus
Famous Cases Involving the Writ of Mandamus Explore famous cases that have involved the writ of mandamus in immigration law: Famous Cases Involving the Writ of Mandamus
Explore these articles to understand the additional consequences of non-citizen criminal issues:”
- Understanding the Additional Consequences of Non-Citizen Criminal Issues
- A Primer on Immigration Consequences for Non-Citizens Who Have Been Charged with a Crime
- Denial of Adjustment of Status: What Non-Citizens Need to Know
- Multifaceted Consequences of Non-Citizen Conviction: Immigration Law Considerations
- The Unintended Consequences of Non-Citizen Criminal Convictions
- Inadmissibility and the Loss of Immigration Benefits
- Criminal Immigration Law: Deportation and Related Consequences
- Weighing Refugee Status Against Accusations of Criminality: Balancing the Human Right to Safety with Non-Citizen Rights
- Explaining Barr v. US Decisions and Its Impacts on Non-Citizen Crime Victims
- Implications of Alteration of Bystander Status as Non-Citizen Crime Victims