The federal Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) sets forth certain criminal
offenses that may result in the deportation of any non-citizen living
in the United States.
So no matter how long you lived in the country, how well-established your
life is here, or whether you have a dependent child who is a U.S. citizen,
you can still be subject to deportation if you are convicted of any of
the crimes listed in the INA. Additionally, those who are green card holders,
visa holders, or refugees who have been granted asylum are still subject
to the deportation sections of the INA.
If you are not a citizen of the U.S., the following are the crimes for
which you can be deported:
Crimes of moral turpitude – Although the INA doesn’t define what is considered a “crime
of moral turpitude,” California has defined it as a corruption of
the social basic duties which every citizen owes to other people and to
society as a whole. According to the California courts, crimes of moral
assault with a deadly weapon,
grand theft, receiving stolen property,
possession for sale of a controlled substance, cultivation of cannabis, and repeated felony convictions for
Aggravated felonies – Conviction of specific felonies under California law can result
in deportation. Some of these crimes overlap between the list of crimes
of moral turpitude and the list of aggravated felonies (e.g. murder or
rape). Some of the aggravated felonies listed in the INA include
drug trafficking, illicit trafficking in firearms, sexual abuse of a minor, running a prostitution
theft crimes with a prison sentence of more than one year, and
fraud crimes involving at least $10,000.
Drug crimes – According to the INA, nearly all drug crimes in California can
lead to deportation. This includes both serious and not-so-serious drug
crimes, such as simple possession. However, you may not be deported if
your drug crime conviction stemmed from a simple possession of cannabis
of less than 30 grams.
Firearm offenses – You can be deported if you are convicted of illegally possessing,
buying, selling, exchanging, using, or carrying any fire arm.
Domestic violence – One conviction of a domestic violence crime is considered a deplorable
offense. Domestic violence offense not only includes abuse inflicted on
a spouse or partner, but also on children. Violating a restraining order
is consider a domestic violence crime that is subject to deportation.
In January 2017, President Donald Trump issued several executive orders
on immigration in order to increase the number of deportations in the
country. One of these orders ended former President Barack Obama’s
Priority Enforcement Program, which enable the Department of Homeland
Security (DHS) to only locate and deport immigrants with more serious
crimes on their record (e.g. aggravated felonies, gang-related crimes,
or three or more misdemeanors) rather than deport every single immigrant
who is technically deportable under federal immigration law. Now, Immigration
and Customs Enforcement (ICE) may focus on all deportable immigrants with
any criminal conviction.
If you have been charged with one of these crimes in Ventura County,
request a free consultation with our
Santa Barbara criminal defense attorney at
Appel & Morse today.