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The Impact of a Sex Crime on Your Immigration Status

Posted on in Immigration

Illinois deportation defense lawyerIn the interest of public safety, ICE has been targeting sexual violence perpetrators in the United States. In fact, ICE just recently arrested 138 convicted sex offenders who are non-citizens. If you are convicted of a sex crime you will probably be deported after serving time behind bars and will not be allowed to come back into the United States. It is important that you thoroughly understand the impact a sex crime conviction could have on your immigration status. You need an experienced immigration and criminal defense attorney before you admit wrongdoing or accept a plea.

Crimes of Moral Turpitude and Removal Proceedings

The Immigration and Nationality Act governs immigration law and lays out the consequences for those convicted of crimes of moral turpitude, which generally include sex crimes and aggravated felonies. Specific examples of such offenses include rape, child pornography, and sex with a minor. 

When a person is in ICE custody, a deportation officer will question them to determine whether removal proceedings should begin. Non-citizens should also receive their due process from federal immigration judges in immigration courts. 

If you are convicted of a sex crime, the Department of Homeland Security will send you a Notice to Appear before an immigration judge. This is the start of the removal proceedings, which could involve several hearings. If the immigration judge determines that you should be removed from this country, your immigration attorney should file for relief from removal. Whether or not one is granted is up to the discretion of the judge. ICE officers carry out the removal decisions made by federal immigration judges. 

Jeopardizing Immigration Status

Any immigrant who commits a sex crime can be subject to deportation or removal from this country. Depending on your immigration status, a conviction of this magnitude may affect your residency in various ways: 

  • Legal permanent residents – You could be detained while the removal proceedings are underway, or you could be deported. If you are lucky enough to avoid deportation, you may still be barred from becoming a U.S. citizen in the future. If you are deported, you will never be allowed to enter the U.S. again. If you try, you could face 20 years in prison.
  • Those seeking asylum – You may be deported regardless of the dangers you may face in your country of origin. If you are not deported, the sex crime conviction has a lot of weight, and it is unlikely that will ever be eligible for permanent residency.
  • Non-citizens with temporary legal status – If you are in the U.S. on a nonimmigrant visa or you have temporary protection status, you could lose that status.
  • Non-citizens with no legal status –This group of people is subject to removal from the United States regardless of whether they commit a crime or not.

Contact an Illinois Deportation Defense Lawyer

If you are facing deportation proceedings, you need a highly skilled Illinois removal defense attorney. At Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices, we have been serving clients for more than 40 years. The stakes are too high if you are deported, so call 630-932-9100 for a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.ice.gov/news/releases/138-noncitizens-identified-convicted-sex-offenders-arrested-during-national-ice

https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/USCODE-2020-title8/pdf/USCODE-2020-title8-chap12-subchapII-partIV-sec1229a.pdf

https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/document/guides/M-618.pdf

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