With its proximity to the Mexican Border, Texas has a large immigrant population.
The vast majority of immigrants that come to live and work in Texas, whether
from Mexico or another country, are looking for better lives for themselves
and their families. They are hardworking and looking forward to U.S.
U.S. citizenship offers many benefits, however, just because someone obtains
a green card, it does not mean that U.S. citizenship will be automatic
afterwards. If a
permanent resident (green card holder) commits certain crimes, they will be denied U.S. citizenship
and in some cases, they will be subject to removal proceedings (deportation).
Have you ever been arrested for a crime?
If you are a green card holder or
applying for a green card, and you intend to apply for U.S. citizenship through the
naturalization process, your criminal history will be closely scrutinized by United States
Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Once you apply for citizenship, USCIS will want to know if you’ve
ever been arrested, if you’ve ever been charged with a crime, and
whether you’ve ever been convicted. While not every criminal conviction
will bar you from becoming a U.S. citizen, some do.
Other types of offenses will raise serious questions about whether you’re
a person of good moral character, for example, child abuse, also known
as “family violence” here in Texas. If an immigrant were to
seriously injure their child, sending them to the hospital, this could
pose a major problem with U.S citizenship.
Some crimes that bar permanent residents from citizenship include:
- Fraudulent crimes ($10,000 or more)
- Sexual abuse of a minor
- Drug trafficking
- Child pornography
- An aggravated felony (e.g. aggravated assault, aggravated sexual assault)
If you are convicted of murder or an aggravated felony, you will automatically
be barred from U.S. citizenship. For example, if you were convicted of
an aggravated felony and you applied for U.S. citizenship, then the officer
at USCIS who interviews you would have no choice but to deny your naturalization
Additionally, if you weren’t already on the USCIS’s radar,
you would have received their attention at this point. The agency would
probably commence removal proceedings now that they are aware that you
have a conviction for an aggravated felony on your criminal record.
Criminal Defense for Immigrants in Plano
If you have been arrested for a crime, it’s important to know whether
a conviction could lead to deportation proceedings or if it could bar
you from U.S. citizenship. Regardless of your charges, USCIS has the discretion
to claim that your offense shows that you lack good moral character, therefore,
you need an aggressive defense!
For the strong representation you need,
contact our office to meet with a Plano criminal defense lawyer who is experienced in deportation defense!