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Criminal Law


Criminal Activity Triggering Deportability Te following criminal activity would subject a foreign


national to deportation: • a conviction of a single crime involving moral turpitude that was committed within five years of admission and is punishable by imprisonment of at least one year;





convictions of two or more crimes involving moral turpitude not arising from a single scheme of misconduct;


• a conviction of an aggravated felony at any time after admission into the United States;


• a conviction for failing to register as a sex offender; • a conviction of a violation of a federal, state, or foreign law or regulation relating to a controlled substance; drug abuse or addiction;





• a conviction relating to a firearm or other destructive device;


• a conviction of an offense related to espionage, sabotage or treason;


• a conviction under the Military Selective Service Act or the Trading with the Enemy Act;


• a conviction for high speed flight from an immigration checkpoint;


• a conviction of an offense related to launching an expedition against a country with which the United States is at peace;


• a conviction for threatening by mail the President, Vice President, or presidential succession;


other officer in the line of • • •


a conviction of a crime of domestic violence, stalking, child abuse, child neglect, or child abandonment;


violates a protection order related to violence or harassment; or


a crime related to human trafficking.7


Aggravated Felonies For purposes of immigration, aggravated felonies, many


times, are not felonies, nor are they necessarily “aggravated.” Rather, the definition of “aggravated felonies” is overly broad and includes countless offenses.8


Indeed, some state


misdemeanors are considered to be aggravated felonies based on case law. In addition, the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRAIRA), makes the definition of aggravated felony retroactive, and includes acts that occurred prior to the date they were included in the aggravated felony definition.9


Te Immigration and


7 INA § 237(a)(2); USC 8 INA § 101(a)(43); 8 USC § 1101(a)(43). 9 Division C of the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 1996 (H.R. 3610), Pub. L. No. 104-208, 110


Nationality Act (“the Act”) broadly categorizes crimes of violence, crimes of theft or burglary for which the term of imprisonment is a minimum of one year, and illegal trafficking of drugs, firearms or destructive devises as aggravated felonies. Tere are also specific crimes considered to be aggravated felonies as defined by the Act, including murder, rape, sexual abuse of minor, federal money laundering if the amount of the funds exceed $10,000, among others. Aggravated felonies include both state and federal convictions.10


Incorporating the Crimmigration Knowledge into Your Practice


Certainly, the intersection between criminal and


immigration law is complex, and practicing either area of law requires basic knowledge of the other. A practitioner need not be well versed in both, but if you are practicing immigration law, you must have a criminal lawyer with whom you consult on these issues. Conversely, individuals practicing criminal law must have an immigration attorney with whom to consult on these issues. In practice, attorneys representing foreign nationals who have been charged with a crime should determine the individual’s status, review the client’s entire Stat. 3009.


10 INA § 101(a)(43); 8 USC § 1101(a)(43). Trial Reporter / Summer 2011 19


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