Law Offices of George Giosmas

25 years of experience

If a green card holder faces charges

Current events have many in Florida questioning the validity of their green card. Due to the Trump administration’s larger efforts to deport immigrants with criminal backgrounds, immigrants who have any convictions or pending charges are at risk facing potential arrest and deportation by ICE.

As shown by the arrest of Jose Luis Garcia earlier this month, this can happen to immigrants who have legal status and had their criminal records resolved decades ago. If the court convicts you on the major grounds of inadmissibility, you may go to prison, get deported, and lose your green card.

Some of these grounds include:

  • Domestic violence
  • Abuse of firearms
  • Marriage fraud
  • Repeated offense

Renewing or re-applying for a green card with a criminal record is difficult. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services checks your background and will arrest you and refuse your request of citizenship if they deem your past offenses too severe. These offenses are “crimes of moral turpitude” because they go against the community’s moral standards.

While this classification includes many crimes, some well-known examples include:

  • Drug abuse
  • Murder
  • Fraud
  • Rape
  • Murder
  • Assault
  • Robbery
  • Smuggling

However, many people have been deported for less severe crimes than those listed above. There have been some deportations without a conviction.

Before that happens, immigrants arrested inside the country must go through the different stages of removal proceedings in an immigration court. The proceedings vary by state, but the stakes are high no matter where the hearings are at. You can fight for your custody rights, but this depends on the severity of your crime and if you are eligible by bond.

With immigration rules under strict enforcement, anyone at risk of losing their green card for a past crime should contact an immigration attorney to review your situation prior to your hearing.

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