Moving to another country and being legally recognized as its citizen is a privilege wanted by many but granted only to a few. This is called immigration. Be it to escape the hardships in their home countries, i.e., social or political conflicts and violence, or access better civil and social opportunities, i.e., employment, education, healthcare, and/or security. It is a premium sought by numerous individuals because of how many people see it as an opportunity to reach a better quality of living. Immigration being a luxurious privilege, it is nuanced with conditions and prohibitions that controls and regulates the newcomers entering and residing in the country. Just because one is already granted a green card does not mean he/she is already out of the immigration sector's prohibitions. In the US, immigration laws are implemented to ensure that their immigrant populations abide by the law to protect their citizens and the country. Violating these laws can cause sanctions like penalties or, worst, deportation.
Immigration policy or immigration law is a series of statutes enacted to determine, prohibit, and regulate the foreigners entering and residing in the country. Though each state has its own set of personal guidelines, it is usually the federal government that sets and enforces most of the policy's conditions. Under DHS's (Department of Homeland Security), the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration) processes the following:
- immigrant visa petitions,
- naturalization applications,
- asylum applications,
- applications for adjustment of status (green cards), and
- refugee applications.
They are also in charge of administrative duties regarding the regulation of immigrants. If the immigrant violates certain laws and regulations, the USCIS can get them penalized, sanctioned, or deported.
Deportation is the formal legal removal of a foreign national, or an immigrant, from the U.S. for committing violations under the immigration law. Under the INA (Immigration and Nationality Act), the U.S. can deport immigrants or "non-citizen" who qualify for deportation under the grounds of violating the prohibitions laid to the individual prior to them entering the country. Illegal aliens who entered the states under unlawful circumstances can be sent back to their country of origin within 24 hours without any form of hearings or legal proceedings. This can also be a ground for getting blacklisted. However, for a green card and/or visa holder, he/she is rightfully owed legal trials and appeals for reconsideration before the BIA (Board of Immigration Appeals). There, the petitions and reasons will be discussed and deliberated. The results will be the verdict on whether the person in question will be granted a temporary or permanent stay or his/her deportation will be enforced.
In California, like in most states in the U.S., there are five (5) major categories that are considered deportable crimes. The following are not just petty or small-time violations; these are severe criminal offenses against the U.S. or any of its citizens that can significantly evaluate the immigrant's general behavior and overall character:
- CIMT (Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude),
- Aggravated felonies,
- Controlled substances (drug) related offenses,
- Firearms regulation violations, or
CIMT - Moral turpitude is a legal and social concept that refers to general ideas like acts or behaviors that significantly violate legally and socially accepted standards in society. This often reflects the holistic behavior of a person towards the community.
Most, if not all, deportable criminal violations' categorization overlaps with each other. Almost every crime falls under 2 or more of the aforementioned categories. Some examples of these violations are:
- Assault with severely cruel intent – CALIFORNIA PENAL CODE PC 245
- Arson – CALIFORNIA PENAL CODE PC 451
- Burglary – CALIFORNIA PENAL CODE PC 459
- Child Abuse – CALIFORNIA PENAL CODE PC 273
- Failure to update sex offender registry – CALIFORNIA PENAL CODE PC 290
- Grand Theft Auto – CALIFORNIA PENAL CODE PC 487
- Murder – CALIFORNIA PENAL CODE PC 187
- Perjury – CALIFORNIA PENAL CODE PC 118
- Rape – CALIFORNIA PENAL CODE PC 261
To say that having a hard-earned United States citizenship revoked is a hassle would be an understatement. As mentioned earlier, it is a privilege only given to a lucky few. That is why it would be an immigrant's best resolve when facing legal disputes that might lead to deportation to get the support of a credible legal counsel immediately. Our roster of top-notch criminal defense lawyers would help your party in resolving such legal disputes.
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