Crimmigration – The Intersection of Criminal Law and Immigration Law

Immigrants to the United States are required to obtain legal documentation allowing them to visit or live in the country. Immigrants must adhere to U.S. laws or risk being deported. Those who have been found guilty of a crime could be removed from the country. Immigrants facing criminal charges must defend them in court. People may wonder, “What is crimmigration?” Crimmigration is a new term to describe the intersection of criminal law and immigration law.

Understanding Crimes in the United States

Immigrants who have serious felony convictions are not allowed to remain in the United States. Felony crimes include a number of different offenses such as murder and rape. Other, lesser crimes may also cause you problems with your immigration status. Immigrants with any type of criminal conviction will face the possibility of deportation. The status of these immigrants is determined on a case-by-case basis.

What is the Conviction of a Crime?

There are many types of crimes that occur in the United States. They range in severity from minor to serious. A traffic offense could be considered a minor crime. If you receive a moving violation and pay it, you have essentially pled guilty to the crime. The crime is now on your record. For this reason, it is advisable for an immigrant to seek legal assistance with any type of criminal matter, regardless of how small it may seem.

What Are the Consequences of A Criminal Conviction?

There are some serious consequences for immigrants who have been convicted of crimes. You may be unable to obtain a visa or green card. You could be denied access to the United States. In some cases, deportation proceedings will be initiated against you. Before you are deported, you will receive a Notice to Appear. You must attend a hearing regarding your immigration status. The judge will determine whether removal should be made.

Defending Against Deportation from the United States

Facing possible deportation is a serious matter. At the hearing you will be able to present any evidence regarding your situation, including details of the criminal convictions on your record. In some cases, you will be able to prove that the crimes were minor, or that they took place a long time ago. If you were served with a Notice to Appear (NTA) it is advisable to seek assistance from a qualified attorney. Your lawyer will help prepare and present your defense to the judge.

If you may be deported because of criminal activity, contact the experienced legal team at Udall Shumway PLC to discuss your situation.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Crimmigration, or other Immigration Law matters, please feel free to contact Phil D. Ortega at 480.461.5330, log on to,  or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.