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How a Criminal Record History Can Get an Immigrant Deported

Immigrant Criminal History Can Cause Deportation

All immigrants, whether on some type of a temporary visa or even a green card giving someone permanent residency in the United States can lead someone to deportation if they violate U.S. immigration laws. Immigrants can be deported if there is evidence they committed a crime of what is called a "crime of moral turpitude." We will touch upon certain specific crimes listed within U.S. immigration laws that are immediate causes for deportation.

A "crime of moral turpitude" is most commonly crimes that include an intent to harm persons or things, fraud and larceny. Other common crimes would be spousal abuse, DUI or DWI and assault with intent to rob or kill another person. We'll provide a few examples.

Demystifying Whether a Crime is Classified as One of Moral Turpitude

Immigration law provides insight that a petty offense can escape the classification of a "crime of moral turpitude." Some examples include a simple assault, DUI or DWI, driving without a license or shoplifting. This depends on the laws in your state.

Two ways that can be grounds for deportation is if you commit a "crime of moral turpitude" during an immigrant's first five years in the U.S. Secondly, if you commit two or more crimes that are of "moral turpitude." They have to not arise out of a single scheme or instance. If you commit multiple crimes arising from a single scheme they will be classified as one crime. This can depend on the circumstances of your case and if you already have an immigrant criminal history. For example, if you commit two robberies at the same time and same location, that can be considered as arising from a single scheme or occurrence of misconduct.

There are certain situations that an immigrant can apply for a waiver of a "crime of moral turpitude." Although there is immigrant criminal history, the waiver is a form of legal forgiveness that avoids deportation. To qualify, you must not have committed an aggravated felony, can't have threatened national security and must have been living in the U.S. continuously for seven years minimum.

If you would like to explore further, check out a full list crimes that are grounds for deportation at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website.

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