Legal and illegal immigrants are at risk of being deported if they are convicted of a criminal offense. Certain crimes committed in California can cause deportation despite how long a person has lived in the United States and whether they have a child born in the territory or immigration status. The crimes that trigger deportation in California are:
- Crimes involving moral turpitude
- Drug-related crimes
- Firearm-related offenses
- Aggravated felonies
- Domestic violence
Crimes involving moral turpitude:
According to The Board of Immigration (BIA), crimes involving moral turpitude are contrary to justice, honesty, or morality; and are more severe and intentional in nature. Therefore, an immigrant can be deported if he/she is convicted of either two crimes of moral turpitude or one crime of moral turpitude when it was committed within five years of entrance to the U.S. The possible sentence is one year or more.
Almost all drug crimes have deportation as a consequence and ineligibility for residency, citizenship, or asylum. In addition, possession for personal use and/or sale, trafficking, transport, and manufacturing are considered drug crimes. However, in California, possession of small amounts of marijuana (less than 30grs.) is legal.
This refers to the illegal purchase, possession, usage, exchange, or sale of firearms. Even the attempt to buy a firearm illegally is enough to face deportation.
A person can be deported from the United States after any conviction of an aggravated felony. Fraud involving properties over $10.000, kidnapping, murder, trafficking, child pornography, rape, sexual abuse, and prostitution-related crimes are considered aggravated felonies. It’s important to consider that certain misdemeanors in California are considered aggravated felonies in the U.S. Immigration Courts.
Domestic Violence Crimes
State and/or federal convictions for domestic violence, stalking someone, child abuse or neglect/abandonment, and violating a protection order will have deportation as a consequence.
Immigrants must seek help from a criminal defense attorney if they feel they are at risk of being deported.