A recent ruling by the Supreme Court of Justice allows the federal government to deport immigrants with or without papers who have committed less serious crimes and constitute a “lack of moral clumsiness.” Experts advise those who are targeted to seek legal advice and not make any mistake that puts them in the crosshairs of federal authorities.
The ruling issued last week by the Supreme Court, which allows the government to deport immigrants who have been in the country for a long time and have not committed serious crimes, creates uncertainty and requires a more in-depth understanding of the so-called ‘moral clumsiness’. ‘.
Before detailing the type of crimes that can put an alien with or without papers in the United States at risk of deportation, it is necessary to understand what the term ‘crime involving moral turpitude’ refers to. CIMT-) referred to in the ruling of the Highest Court of Justice.
According to a report by the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC), even before the Supreme Court ruling “a conviction for a crime that involves moral depravity may or may not harm an immigrant, depending on a series of factors established in the Law. of Immigration and Nationality (INA) ”.
These factors included: the number of CIMT convictions, the potential and actual sentence, when the person committed or was convicted of the crime, and the person’s immigration status.
And it warned that “a single CIMT conviction could have caused no harm, or could result in a variety of penalties ranging from deportation to ineligibility for relief and mandatory detention.”
The Supreme Court ruling changes the way immigration judges will process immigrants who are facing deportation proceedings and have committed a CMIT.
“Before the ruling, it was the government (through the prosecutors) who had to prove that the offense committed by the person and for which there was a case in the deportation process and had been found guilty and was in the criminal record, constituted a lack of moral clumsiness, ”says José Guerrero, an immigration lawyer practicing in Miami, Florida.
“Now it is the immigrant who has to demonstrate to the court that must resolve his deportation case that the crime for which he was found guilty and sentenced does not constitute a lack of moral awkwardness, even if the criminal record is confusing and it has not been clear whether crime has a CMIT ”, he adds.
Inadmissible and / or deportable
Section 212 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) has a long list of crimes that make an alien inadmissible to enter the United States or deportable if he or she is within the country, including legal permanent residents (green card) or foreigners who entered legally with a visa.
In the case of the undocumented or people who entered without a previous inspection by the Customs and Border Control Office (CBP), they commit an infraction to the INA that can make them deportable, but this lack of a non-criminal civil nature does not adds having committed a lack of moral character.
According to the ILRC, the list of crimes involving CMIT must be analyzed in each case and establish whether, when there was a crime, there was an intention to cause great bodily harm, defraud or permanently deprive an owner of a material good.
And even, in some cases, he adds, “act with lewd or reckless intentions.”