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How Can an Immigrant Fight Deportation After a Criminal Conviction? (For 2024)


Immigrants who are convicted of a crime in the U.S. face the risk of being deported or removed from the country. However, if you are facing the risk of being deported after a criminal conviction, you should know that deportation is not always inevitable. While receiving a removal or deportation order or being detained by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) can feel like a helpless situation, immigrants have legal avenues to fight deportation after a criminal conviction. If you are an immigrant who is concerned that they may be deported because of a criminal conviction, it is crucial that you reach out to a qualified immigration attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can help you develop an effective strategy that can help you fight back against a deportation or removal order.

Crimes Subject to Deportation in the U.S.

Just because an immigrant is convicted of a crime does not guarantee the risk of being deported. The following are some of the crimes that put immigrants at a great risk of being deported;

  • Crimes of moral turpitude
  • Aggravated felonies
  • Drug crimes
  • Crimes of violence, such as domestic violence and assault with a deadly weapon
  • Firearms-related offenses

The definition of crimes of moral turpitude is not black and white. However, they can be defined as those offenses involving fraud, dishonesty, or other morally reprehensible conduct.

How To Fight Deportation After a Criminal Conviction

After being convicted of a crime in the United States as an immigrant, there are several ways that you can fight against deportation. A skilled immigration attorney can help you develop a suitable defense strategy. The following are some of the strategies for fighting against deportation after a criminal conviction;

Arguing That the Crime Is Not a Deportable Offense

Not all criminal convictions are grounds for deportation. You could argue that your offense was a minor crime, such as petty theft or simple assault, therefore, there is no justification for the deportation order. The lower the crime you were convicted of, the higher your chances of avoiding deportation.

Applying for a Waiver

You may have the option of filing a waiver of relief from removal. This waiver asks the government to excuse the crime and allow you to keep your green card or apply to adjust your status. However, some requirements must be met to qualify for this relief.

Adjusting Your Status

In some cases, you can avoid deportation by having your immigration status changed to lawful permanent residency. This process is known as Adjustment of Status. One of the common ways to adjust your status is if you have a relative who is a U.S. citizen. You may also be able to adjust your status if you’ve been in the U.S. for over ten years.

Applying for Asylum

A criminal defendant can express their interest in seeking asylum. The asylum process can pose removal proceedings. If granted asylum, you will have the right to remain in the U.S.

Appealing the Decision

Finally, a criminal defense attorney may be able to help you appeal the conviction and have it overturned. Some valid grounds for appealing a criminal conviction in the U.S. include legal errors, prosecutorial misconduct, new evidence, and ineffective assistance of counsel.

Contact Us for Legal Help

If you are concerned that you may be deported because of a criminal conviction, our qualified NYC immigration attorney at Mark I. Cohen, Esq., can support you by helping you mount a strong defense.

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