- Who is affected by inadmissibility?
- What is inadmissibility?
- Common grounds for deportability.
- What is a conviction? It may be broader than you think.
WHAT IS INADMISSIBILITY? WHAT MAKES YOU INADMISSIBLE FOR ENTRY TO THE US?
Inadmissibility means that people cannot enter, or stay in, the United States. General factors include health, criminal activity, national security, public charge, fraud and misrepresentation, prior removals, unlawful presence in the US, but for this blog post we are only dealing with inadmissibility due to crimes.
- Conviction or admitting use of illicit drugs (“controlled dangerous substances”)
- Prostitution and vice
- Conviction or admitting a crime involving moral turpitude—the list is very long and may be found by reviewing cases but essentially is defined as any act which is “inherently evil” such as:
- Larceny; and
- Intent to harm persons or things.
- Having helped smuggle other foreign-born people into the U.S.
The full list can be found in Section 212 of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
HERE ARE SOME VERY COMMON GROUNDS FOR DEPORTATION:
Deportation—called removal since 1997—is when a foreign national is removed from the United States for breaking immigration law. Grounds for deportation include:
- Conviction involving firearms or destructive devices
- Domestic violence, stalking, child abuse, neglect, or abandonment, and even violations of orders of protection
- Aggravated felonies (the list is very long and may be found at Section 101(a)(43) of the Immigration Act)
- Having gained legal status by committing marriage fraud
- Having failed to timely notify U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) of one’s changes of address (I have had clients with this issue. Even though it’s most often a mistake it can lead to deportation in worst case scenarios).
The full list can be found in Section 237 of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
INCLUDED IN HOW IMMIGRATION LAW DEFINES A CONVICTION:
- The Board of Immigration Appeals has interpreted “conviction” to include an initial guilty plea. Even if you later got this plea overturned, it can lead to deportation.
- In New Jersey, and many other states, an immigrant who has goes into Pre Trial Intervention, Pre Trial Diversion or another alternative to sentencing program (such as a conditional discharge) in which he has made a guilty plea, may be subject to deportation, or as it has been called since 1997, removal.
THERE ARE WAIVERS for both crimes involving deportation or inadmissibility depending on circumstances.
Be sure to talk carefully with an immigration lawyer who has strong expertise in Deportation and Inadmissibility, if you are from another country and have had any run-ins with the police!