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The road to deportation is paved with criminal convictions

On Behalf of | Sep 21, 2021 | Deportation Defense

Deportation can mean the end of the road for visa or green card holders living in Mississippi. Once deported, the immigrant could be forever banished from the U.S. Certain violent crimes, such as murder, trigger an automatic deportation order once the person is released from prison. However, not all crimes lead to expulsion.

Categories of crimes

The path to deportation is usually a criminal conviction, and violent crimes and repeat misdemeanors could swiftly send the offender down this road. However, judges make a deportation order based on the actual crime committed as opposed to the type of category the crime falls under. High on the list of deportable offenses are aggravated felonies and crimes of “moral turpitude.”

Aggravated felonies are serious crimes with major repercussions that usually result in more than one year in prison. These violent crimes include but are not limited to child abuse, murder, rape, drug possession, drug sales, drug distribution and the illegal possession of firearms.

Crimes of moral turpitude involve acts that betray the public’s trust or that violate expected moral conduct. These illicit behaviors include immigration fraud, perjury, tax fraud and theft.

There is an exception to the moral turpitude rule, however. If the immigrant commits only one such crime and receives less than a year in prison, their conviction will not lead to deportation. On the other hand, committing more than one such crime can trigger an order of deportation even if the person spends less than a year in confinement.

Complex legal matters

Criminal convictions can definitely impact an immigrant’s status and never for the better. People come to the U.S. from all over the world hoping for a path to citizenship. Being convicted of crimes can lead to that undesirable path of deportation, so it’s important to mount a defense in order to avoid being deported.

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