Citizens VS Migrants: When Accused Of A CrimeIn Arizona, there are many different people that are not citizens who are accused of committing crimes

For instance, there are illegal immigrants, which if they’re convicted of a crime, it will surely affect their ability to stay in Arizona and in this country. There are also people with green cards, or legal resident aliens, and if they’re convicted of a crime, they can also be made to leave the country and lose their legal resident status.

When illegal or illegal residents are accused of committing a crime, it is important they get good legal representation so they are immediately deported. For illegal immigrants, the big issue is that the minute they are taken into custody and the case is resolved, regardless of the outcome, they will be moved over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which is on a Federal level. Once ICE gets a hold of them, they will be processed for deportation because of their illegal status.

For legal resident aliens, or those with green cards, they have the right to work here and many live here for very long periods of time. One of the main conditions of being here is that they have to be a law abiding citizen, just like everybody else. If they are accused of a crime, not only do they need to worry about what they are accused of, but they need to worry about their immigration status. One of the things that is always said in court before someone either goes to trial or takes a plea agreement, they need to understand that pleading guilty or being convicted of a crime could affect your immigration status if they are not a United States citizen. That’s where either they need to find a criminal lawyer who understands immigration law an in some cases they will have a separate immigration lawyer. It is possible for a legal resident alien to commit a crime and still be allowed to stay here in the United States. However, there are certain types of crimes where that is not the case, such as those crimes involving moral turpitude. There are certain crimes that fall into that category. And if they are convicted of certain types of offenses, then they could be deported.

Crimes of moral turpitude can be crimes that have to do with telling the truth or crimes of extreme violence. It can mean many different things for immigration issues. For instance, intentional violence would be a crime that we be cause for deportation. Theft or fraud can be something that makes losing your legal residence an issue as well as certain types of domestic violence cases. In any conviction, a person always need to talk to a lawyer who understands these issues before going to trial or taking any kind of plea agreement on any criminal offense.

In the case of criminal and immigration issues, the criminal will always need to be resolved before the immigration courts make a decision. In Arizona, immigration courts are pretty backlogged, so they usually have a longer time line in terms of how long they take.

Once a person becomes a full US citizen, whether born here or naturalized, then they really do not have to worry about being deported. It is possible the someone’s citizenship could be taken away, but there has to be very unique circumstances. One thing people fail to know is that In the United States, even if you’re from a different country, you have the same rights as a citizen in terms of how you are treated in the justice system. The main difference is that their conviction could affect their immigration status by deportation.

If someone is convicted of a criminal offense and it does affect their immigration status, they will have to serve the consequences of their sentence before they are deported. So if someone gets a lengthy prison term or jail term, they will not go through the immigration process until they complete their term. It is possible under the law for sentence terms to be shortened for non-US citizens, and those laws are put there because of budget concerns.

By Michael Munoz

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