"Crimmigration" involves the intersection of immigration and criminal law, and and it is one of our specialties here at YNGELMO LAW. A criminal conviction can destroy an immigration application at any phase – getting a green card, renewing a green card, becoming a citizen, or fighting deportation. Some convictions, known as aggravated felonies, lead to almost automatic deportation. Even smaller convictions for crimes like shoplifting and drunk driving can affect an individual's immigration status.
Many non-citizens plead guilty to crimes to stay out of jail without realizing that their conviction can make them ineligible for immigration benefits, or can get them deported. Most criminal defense lawyers have no knowledge of how a criminal conviction can impact a non-citizen’s status in the US. If a non-citizen is facing criminal charges, they need an immigration lawyer to explain the potential immigration consequence of any possible plea agreement. In crimmigration matters, it is wise to resolve the criminal charges first, because the result of that case will determine whether you face removal or become ineligible for immigration benefits. We regularly work with criminal defense attorneys in crafting plea agreements that will not carry, or will minimize, negative immigration consequences.