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If you are currently a holder of a green card – you might think that you’re now settled in the United States with no potentiality of getting sent back to your home country. Well, think again! If you get arrested and convicted of an aggravated felony, you may face devastating immigration consequences including deportation.
A legal permanent resident (green card holder) or other alien is subject to deportation if he or she is convicted of an aggravated felony anytime after admission.
Only Convicted of a Misdemeanor? Your Conviction may still be deemed an Aggravated Felony!
Despite the term itself, an aggravated felony does not necessarily require a state felony conviction. That’s right. A state misdemeanor can be considered an aggravated felony. Wait a minute – you might ask – what does this mean – doesn’t that defy logic?
Here’s the answer simply put, the term aggravated felony is a term used often in the immigration context the rubric of which may include state felonies or misdemeanors. For example, Sexual Abuse under the New York Penal Code (PL 130.62) is an aggravated felony despite that it is a 2nd degree misdemeanor in New York.
Bar to U.S. Citizenship and Asylum
Imagine never being able to obtain U.S. Citizenship. An individual convicted of an aggravated felony after November 29, 1990 can never obtain U.S. Citizenship even if this person obtains a 212(c) waiver. Moreover, an aggravated felony conviction bars a potential applicant from obtaining asylum since an aggravated felony is deemed a “particularly serious crime.”
Deportation and Ineligibility for Voluntary Deportation or Cancellation of Removal
Getting convicted of an aggravated felony is very serious and can subject the individual to deportation and mandatory detention. Moreover, various types of relief may become unavailable including voluntary departure or cancellation of removal even if there is extreme hardship to a spouse or immediate family member.
If you are charged with an offense that you think might be an aggravated felony, it is vital that you closely work with an immigration lawyer who is highly familiar with criminal law. The Law Firm of Kyce Siddiqi will exert effort and fight to protect you from bars to asylum and naturalization. Trust an attorney who cares. Attorney Kyce Siddiqi, a former NYPD Police Officer, is standing by to help.