Green Card Holder Deported For A Felony? Here’s Why It Can Happen.

Some people may think that by gaining permanent residence status, it protects them from deportation since they are a legal resident of the United States. But guess what? You aren’t safe as a green card holder if you have been convicted of certain crimes. Green card holder deported for a felony is a serious problem that needs to be addressed quickly.
Now don’t panic, we’ll talk about which offenses put you at risk of deportation and what you can do to protect yourself.
First, it’s important that you understand what you’ve been convicted of since you’ve lawfully entered the United States. If you aren’t sure, request a copy of your criminal history record from the local courthouse where you were convicted.

Next, you should determine whether the crime you committed is a deportable offense. This means that it’s serious enough for ICE to attempt to detain you and kick you out of the country.
Finally, you have options to protect yourself from deportation using immigration law that is meant to help you stay in the U.S. by requesting a waiver for your crime.
Case Example:
Winston immigrated to the United States from Poland and successfully adjusted status to become a lawful permanent resident (green card holder). Three years ago, he was convicted of an aggravated felony with a deadly weapon. He served his time and has now changed his ways and has a family to support.
He is worried that the felony charge could get him deported and separated from his U.S. citizen wife and children. What should Winston do to protect himself from being deported?
This type of situation is all too common. Many immigrants don’t understand how a criminal conviction or felony can negatively affect their immigration status. Before pleading to anything, you should consult an immigration attorney that is experienced with criminal records.
Note: were you deported before becoming a green card holder? If you married a U.S. citizen, it may be possible to apply for a green card after deportation.

What Is A Deportable Conviction?

A deportable conviction is a felony crime that can cause you to be deportable even if you are a green card holder. Just being a permanent resident will not protect you from deportation because of the good moral character requirement for USCIS.
Generally, the United States wants to only allow immigrants that want to be good citizens of their community. To show this you would try your best to stay out of trouble and not commit any serious crimes.
Note that a minor misdemeanor will not be as problematic as a felony charge but too many minor convictions can really add up and cause you to be deportable.
With Trump being so eager to deport any immigrant that has a felony, it’s in your best interest to fight the case if at all possible. A plea deal can really cause problems for you if you don’t know how it will affect your immigration status. Below are a list of crimes that can get a green card holder deported quickly.

Crimes That Can Get You Deported For A Felony:

  • Murder.
  • Rape.
  • Sexual abuse of a minor.
  • Drug-trafficking crimes or any illicit trafficking in any controlled substances.
  • Illicit trafficking.
  • Firearms offenses (simple possession of an unlicensed firearm by a permanent resident is normally not an aggravated felony).
  • Offenses related to laundering of money in excess of $10,000.
  • Offenses involving explosives or arson.
  • Offenses relating to the receipt, manufacture, or possession of firearms without proper licenses or taxes.
  • Crimes of violence where the term of imprisonment imposed is at least one year.
  • Theft offense (including receipt of stolen property) or burglary where term of imprisonment imposed is at least one year.
  • Ransom offenses, including using interstate communications to demand ransom or threaten kidnap.
  • Child pornography offenses.
  • RICO (the Racketeer-Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) offenses where a sentence of 1 year or more imprisonment is imposed.
  • Offenses related to owning, controlling, managing, or supervising a prostitution business.
  • Offenses related to involuntary servitude.
  • Offenses related to spying and national security.
  • Treason and concealing and failing to disclose treason.
  • Fraud or deceit where the loss to the victim exceeds $10,000.
  • Income tax evasion where the loss to the government exceeds $10,000.
  • Alien smuggling for commercial gain where the term of imprisonment imposed is at least one year.
  • Document fraud where the sentence imposed is at least one year (except where you committed the offense to assist your spouse, parent, or child).
  • Failing to appear for sentence where a defendant has been convicted of a crime with a possible sentence of 15 years or more.
  • Offenses involving obstruction of justice, perjury, or subornation or helping another person commit perjury or bribery of a witness, where the sentence of at least one year may be imposed.
  • Offenses related to commercial bribery, forgery, counterfeiting, or trafficking in vehicles, where a sentence of at least one year may be imposed.
  • Offenses committed by an alien ordered previously deported.
  • Offenses related to the failure to appear in court for a criminal offense where a sentence of two or more years may be imposed.
  • Any attempt or conspiracy to commit any of the above acts, committed within the United States.
  • Any attempt or conspiracy to commit any of these acts violating a law in a foreign country where the term of imprisonment was completed within the previous 15 years.

green card holder deported felony

Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude and Deportation

When it comes involving crimes of moral turpitude (CIMT), it can be very confusing. USCIS does have an explanation in their manual stating that a crime involving moral turpitude includes ” “fraud, larceny, and intent to harm persons or things.”
What exactly does CIMT mean in English? It means that if you committed a crime that involves dishonesty or theft it will most likely fall under the crimes involving moral turpitude bucket.

If you are conviction of two CIMTs since admission into the U.S.

USCIS states that a noncitizen (someone who is a green card holder) is deportable for two or more convictions of crimes involving moral turpitude that occur anytime after admission to the U.S. on any visa, or after adjustment of status.
Case Example:
Johnny was admitted to the U.S. in 2009 legally on a student visa. He later married a U.S. citizen and adjusted status to become a lawful permanent resident (green card holder). He was convicted of petty theft in 2012 and fraud in 2014. He is now deportable for conviction of two CIMTs since his admission to the United States.
There are two exceptions to this rule:
  1. Convictions that are “purely political”
  2. Convictions that are related to a “single scheme of criminal misconduct” (charges had to arise from the very same incident).

If you are convicted of one CIMT, committed within 5 years of admission:

USCIS states that a noncitizen (someone who is a green card holder) is deportable for one conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT) if  you committed the offense within 5 years of your last “admission” to the United States, and if the offense carries a potential sentence of one year.
Case Example:
Marissa entered the U.S. unlawfully without inspection in 2010. She later married a U.S. citizen and adjusted status to become a lawful permanent resident (green card holder) after filing a hardship waiver that was approved. She was convicted of assault against her husband in 2013. She is now deportable for conviction of one CIMT within 5 years of admission to the United States.

How To Protect Yourself From Deportation

A conviction of an aggravated felony will be hard to fight and avoid deportation. It likely can and does cause a green card holder deported back to their home country. It would meant that you would need to prove that you would be in grave danger if you were to be deported back to your home country.
This can include evidence that you would be tortured or killed.
For less serious crimes, you may have a shot at applying for a waiver. I do not recommend trying to do this on your  own though. Seek the help of a competent immigration attorney and do a little research on your specific conviction before deciding on the next steps.
Find out if you need to file I-212 waiver after deportation to re-enter the U.S.

Final Thoughts On Green Card Holder Deported For A Felony

When I first got my green card, I never felt like I had all the rights and protections of a U.S. citizen. There are conditions to your residency even if you have your 10 year green card and that shouldn’t be forgotten.
If you’ve already been convicted of a felony, it’s hard to try to fight it now but for those of you who are still in court, consult an immigration attorney before pleading to anything. You need to be fully aware of what the consequences are before doing so.
A waiver is available for crimes involving moral turpitude but not more serious aggravated felonies. If you are in deportation proceedings, you must go to immigration court if required. Missing court dates will cause an automatic deportation order and you will end up living your life in fear of ICE.
Remember, being married to a U.S. citizen doesn’t grant you any special privileges and will not protect your from deportation if you’ve committed a serious felony. It’s important to know that a green card holder deported for certain felonies can happen but you may have options depending on what crime was committed and how you plead in court.

If you need guidance on what to do to avoid deportation due to a criminal conviction, consider signing up for premium case support. This allows me to review your circumstances and provide you with the information you need to make the right decision with your case.

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