When an immigrant is in the United States, they are at risk of being deported if they commit certain crimes and if they violate U.S. immigration laws.
Even if an immigrant has obtained permanent resident status and they have a green card, they can still get deported if they violate certain state or federal laws.
As a general rule, an immigrant can be placed in removal proceedings if he or she commits a “crime of moral turpitude” or if they commit an aggravated felony. Child and spousal abuse are considered crimes of moral turpitude and aggravated sexual assault or aggravated battery are considered “aggravated felonies.”
Additionally, the U.S. has zero tolerance for immigrants who come to the United States and get involved in drugs.
If an immigrant is caught possessing illegal drugs, or if they are caught manufacturing, selling, or transporting illegal drugs, such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, LSD, GHB, or another controlled substance, they can be placed in removal proceedings.
What counts as crimes of moral turpitude?
Unfortunately, U.S. immigration law has not provided a clear explanation of “crime of moral turpitude,” however, the Department of State has tried to offer some clarity, stating that a moral turpitude crime generally involves the elements of larceny (theft), fraud, or the intention to harm people or things.
Examples of crimes of moral turpitude:
- Felony DWI (driving while intoxicated)
- Family violence (child abuse or spousal abuse)
- Immigration fraud
- Medicare fraud
- Identity theft
- Sexual assault (rape)
- Manslaughter and murder
Petty Offenses May Be Excluded
If an immigrant is charged with a felony offense, it may be considered a “crime of moral turpitude” for deportation purposes. However, many crimes may escape deportation if they are “petty offenses.”
Generally, a petty offense is a crime where the penalty does not exceed one year, and it can also be when an immigrant spends less than six months in prison for a crime.
If you need a deportation defense attorney in Plano or Dallas, contact Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC today!