Immigration consequences of a criminal conviction

| Mar 28, 2017 | Appeals |

President Trump’s immigration ban was big news in the early days of the new administration. This news story was more prominent than another executive order also signed in the first few weeks of the new presidency. This order expanded the population of immigrants which could be picked up for deportation. According to U.S. immigration authorities, raids are now targeting undocumented immigrants with criminal records, but those without criminal records can be deported. However, even lawful permanent residents have reason to be concerned, especially if they have a criminal conviction on their record.

How will a conviction affect your status?

For undocumented immigrants, a conviction of any crime most likely means that the person will be immediately jailed, then deported. As part of the consequences, the person might be permanently banned from returning to the states, applying for naturalization or asking for asylum. Each person has to check eligibility requirements required for their own situation. There is no one-size-fits-all in immigration law.

Lawful permanent residents, whether long-time or recent immigrants, will almost certainly face deportation if convicted of an aggravated felony, domestic violence, moral turpitude, drugs or firearm crime. For an aggravated felony, there could be a permanent ban on returning to the United States. With other crimes, there could be a 10-year minimum ban, possibly longer.

Immigration is a complicated area of law

Even though there are about 185 types of visas, there are caps on the number of visas issued by the U.S. each year. Each country has limits on how many visas are available. Some visa types, like the H-2B visa, are issued to employers, not individuals. This allows seasonal, non-agriculture employees from foreign countries to come in and perform certain jobs. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services just announced that the cap for H-2B visas in 2017 has already been reached. New announcements are made weekly which could affect your case.

Immigration law is very complex. Title 8 of the U.S. Code is the main statutory source, but there is a lot of case law which could affect your situation. If you are facing a conviction as an immigrant or have a conviction on your record, you might want to speak to an experienced attorney about your options. Your attorney can help you document your situation to present the best case possible. Do not live with the anxiety of not knowing what your situation involves. Have an advocate on your side to find solutions that will not disrupt your family.