As an immigration application services provider, one of the most pressing questions we receive is whether a green card holder can be deported for a misdemeanor. The answer is not straightforward, as the outcome depends on several factors, including the type of misdemeanor, the circumstances surrounding the offense, and the individual’s immigration status. In this article, we will delve into the topic to provide a comprehensive answer to this question.
, today we will be discussing the topic of whether a green card holder can be deported for a misdemeanor offense. This is a complex and controversial issue that affects many individuals and families. Throughout this discussion, we will explore the relevant laws and regulations, as well as the potential consequences for green card holders who face misdemeanor charges. Let’s dive in.
Before we go into the details of whether a green card holder can be deported for a misdemeanor, it is essential to understand what a misdemeanor is. A misdemeanor is a criminal offense that is less serious than a felony. Examples of misdemeanors include petty theft, disorderly conduct, public intoxication, and driving under the influence (DUI). Misdemeanors are generally punishable by fines, probation, community service, or short-term imprisonment.
Types of Misdemeanors
Misdemeanors can be classified into three categories: Class A, Class B, and Class C. Class A misdemeanors are the most serious and can result in a jail term of up to one year and a fine of up to $5,000. Class B misdemeanors can result in a jail term of up to 180 days and a fine of up to $2,000, while Class C misdemeanors can result in a fine of up to $500.
Consequences of Misdemeanors for Green Card Holders
When it comes to green card holders, a misdemeanor can have severe consequences, including deportation. Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), a green card holder can be deported if they are convicted of certain crimes, including aggravated felonies, crimes of moral turpitude, and drug offenses. However, not all misdemeanors fall under these categories.
Green card holders can be deported for certain misdemeanors, including crimes of moral turpitude, aggravated felonies, and drug offenses. However, not all misdemeanors lead to deportation, and there are potential defenses against removal, such as a waiver of inadmissibility, cancellation of removal, and rehabilitation. Understanding the type of misdemeanor and the circumstances surrounding the offense is crucial in determining the potential consequences for a green card holder.
Crimes of Moral Turpitude
Crimes of moral turpitude (CIMT) are offenses that involve dishonesty, fraud, or depravity. Examples of CIMT include theft, embezzlement, fraud, and assault with intent to rob. A green card holder who is convicted of a CIMT within five years of admission to the U.S. or ten years after admission for a crime that carries a possible sentence of one year or more can be deported.
Aggravated felonies are serious crimes that carry a possible sentence of one year or more. Examples of aggravated felonies include murder, rape, drug trafficking, and certain firearms offenses. A green card holder who is convicted of an aggravated felony can be deported, regardless of when the offense was committed.
Green card holders who are convicted of drug offenses can also face deportation. Under the INA, a drug offense is any violation of a law relating to the possession, distribution, manufacture, cultivation, or dispensing of a controlled substance. A green card holder who is convicted of a drug offense, including a misdemeanor, can be deported.
Defending Against Deportation for a Misdemeanor
If you are a green card holder and facing deportation due to a misdemeanor conviction, you may be able to defend against removal. Some possible defenses include:
Waiver of Inadmissibility
If you are deemed inadmissible due to a criminal conviction, you may be able to apply for a waiver of inadmissibility. A waiver may be available if you can show that your removal would result in extreme hardship to your U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse, parent, or child.
Cancellation of Removal
Cancellation of removal is a defense that may be available to certain noncitizens who are facing removal. To qualify, you must meet specific requirements, including having been physically present in the U.S. for at least ten years, being a person of good moral character, and demonstrating that your removal would result in exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to your U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse, parent, or child.
If you have been convicted of a misdemeanor, you may be able to show that you have been rehabilitated and are no longer a threat to society. Rehabilitation can be demonstrated through evidence such as community service, counseling, and employment.
FAQs for can a green card holder be deported for a misdemeanor
What is a green card holder?
A green card holder, also known as a lawful permanent resident, is an individual who has been granted the right to live and work permanently in the United States. This status is typically granted through employment or a family relationship with a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
Can a green card holder be deported for a misdemeanor?
Yes, a green card holder can be deported for a misdemeanor offense depending on the specific circumstances of the case. Under U.S. immigration law, certain criminal offenses can make an individual deportable, including some misdemeanors that are considered crimes of moral turpitude.
What is a crime of moral turpitude?
A crime of moral turpitude refers to a criminal offense that involves dishonesty, fraud, or immoral behavior. Examples of crimes of moral turpitude include theft, forgery, and fraud. If a green card holder is convicted of a crime of moral turpitude, they may be subject to deportation from the United States.
Are all misdemeanor offenses deportable?
No, not all misdemeanor offenses are deportable. Whether a misdemeanor offense will result in deportation will depend on a number of factors, including the specific offense, the individual’s criminal history, and the individual’s immigration status.
Does the length of time a green card holder has spent in the United States affect their likelihood of being deported for a misdemeanor?
Yes, the length of time a green card holder has spent in the United States can play a role in their likelihood of being deported for a misdemeanor. Generally, individuals who have been lawful permanent residents for a longer period of time and who have demonstrated good moral character may be less likely to be deported for a misdemeanor offense than those who have been green card holders for a shorter period of time or who have a history of criminal behavior.
What should a green card holder do if they are facing deportation for a misdemeanor?
If a green card holder is facing deportation for a misdemeanor offense, it is important for them to seek the advice of an experienced immigration attorney. An attorney can review the individual’s case and provide guidance on potential defenses or strategies for avoiding deportation. Additionally, an attorney can help the individual understand their rights and options under U.S. immigration law.