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Crimes and Deportation

Crimes and Deportation or Removal from the United States

When an immigrant or alien is arrested, the local police refer that person to ICE to determine whether they have a prior criminal record or to place an Immigration Hold on them until the current criminal charges are resolved. If the old crime or the new crime is one that could result in inadmissibility, that person is then referred to Immigration Court for a judge to determine whether the crime is a deportable offense. This applies to both aliens and permanent resident in the U.S.

Another way to be placed into immigration court for removal is travel and re entry into the U.S. as a permanent resident. An LPR who travels is re applying for admission each and every time they travel outside the U.S. DHS has instructed Border Patrol, the U.S State Department and authorities at U.S. airports to look into any past criminal history of returning LPR's. Residents with serious crimes are placed in an ICE hold with no bond. The immigration court does not have the jurisdiction to order the person released on bond.

What can persons with a past criminal record do to protect themselves from DHS and ICE?

  1. Gather the court documents for any and all arrests or criminal convictions and have them analyzed by an immigration attorney to determine if their record would prevent them from travelling (if an LPR) or result in removal proceedings if they apply for an change of status, such as application for permanent residence or citizenship.
  2. If that attorney is not experienced in criminal defense work as well, have the immigration attorney speak to defense counsel for the client to determine if past convictions can be dismissed prior to applying for benefits or travel outside the U.S.
  3. Refrain from traveling or applying for change of status or citizenship if a past criminal record cannot be expunged or changed. However one will be fingerprinting when applying for a green card which is about to expire.

For a discussion of what crimes can affect an LPR , immigrant or illegal alien, the following website has listed deportable offenses. Please contact us at (415) 513-4533 or use on form on the Contact Page.