There is no question that immigrants in the United States are held to a different set of standards than natural-born citizens. This means that they must be particularly careful to avoid committing any crimes that can result in a loss of their immigration status and being deported back home. This is the case across the entire country, but it is particularly true in California, a state that has a very high number of immigrants.
What crimes can affect your immigration status?
Immigration law can get complicated, and this question can be difficult to answer comprehensively. If you are an immigrant who has been arrested and charged with a crime, your best bet is to immediately contact someone who is familiar with immigration law and criminal defense as your status as an immigrant may alter your legal strategy.
However, generally speaking, some crimes can leave a person more likely to lose his or her legal immigration status than others. These include felonies. Indeed, committing certain felonies will almost certainly lead to your deportation and a bar on future entry to the United States. These include crimes like murder, theft, rape or a variety of tax crimes.
Furthermore, some crimes, generally including crimes of “moral turpitude,” will also be more likely to lead to your deportation. A crime of moral turpitude is seen to violate the moral standards of an area. This is generally interpreted somewhat narrowly to include crimes like child abuse or wire fraud. Keep in mind that a variety of mitigating factors, such as motivation or prior arrests, may also impact your immigration status.
If you are an immigrant who has been charged with a crime, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. Doing so is the best way to ensure that your legal defense can protect your immigration status.