Making The American Dream Attainable

How criminal convictions affect immigration status

On Behalf of | Jul 12, 2020 | Immigration |

Most immigrants living in Florida understand that several factors can affect their right to remain in the United States. Criminal convictions are near the top of the list for things that may damage one’s immigration status. It is important to note, however, that not all crimes are viewed the same by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Serious crimes like trafficking large quantities of narcotics, murder and human trafficking will more than likely result in deportation for a convicted individual. Also, a 1988 update to immigration law created a list of “aggravated felonies” that may also become a reason for deportation. Many of the offenses that are part of the “aggravated list” are not serious. Some crimes on the list are misdemeanors for citizens who were born in the United States.

Minor offenses that can cause a serious problem with the immigration status of an individual include petty theft, simple battery, failure to make a court appearance, and fraudulent tax filings. Any crime that is said to involve the moral turpitude of an immigrant can also negatively impact their immigration status. These crimes, which can be either felonies or misdemeanors, are acts that constitute a breach of trust with the public or another individual. A few of the crimes that fit this description include embezzlement, child abuse, perjury and fraud.

Immigration is an area of the law that is complicated and filled with nuances. This fact becomes crystal clear when an immigrant becomes involved with the criminal justice system. Non-citizens of the United States who find themselves in trouble with the law face the possibility of deportation without the opportunity to return to the country. Immigrants who face charges in a criminal court can get help in guarding their residency status by working with an attorney.