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When might an immigrant face the threat of deportation?

Many people immigrate to the United States, including to Massachusetts, in hopes of a finding a better future than the one they would have had in their home country. However, it is very important for those in the country on a visa or green card to not commit a crime, particularly an “aggravated felony” or a crime of “moral turpitude.”

As contrary as it may seem, when it comes to immigration, aggravated felonies are not always felonious crimes. Certain misdemeanors or even acts that are not technically against the law will, for immigration purposes, fall under the category of aggravated felonies. Some examples of aggravated felonies include battery, theft and certain tax crimes, to name a few. Even failing to appear in court can constitute an aggravated felony. If an immigrant is convicted of an aggravated felony, he or she could possibly be deported.

Crimes of moral turpitude, as the name implies, are crimes that run afoul of community moral standards. That being said, there is no all-encompassing list of exactly what falls under the umbrella of crimes of moral turpitude. Some examples of crimes that have been considered crimes of moral turpitude include lying under oath, certain tax crimes and other white-collar crimes, and child abuse. Just as with aggravated felonies, immigrants who are convicted of crimes of moral turpitude could possibly be deported.

As you can see, it is of the utmost importance that an immigrant not commit a crime, as doing so could have serious consequences and could even threaten the immigrant’s ability to remain in the country. Immigrants who are being accused of a crime may want to consult with an attorney, to ensure their rights are protected.

Source: FindLaw, “How Does a Felony Affect Immigration Status?,” Accessed Oct. 22, 2017

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