Thousands of foreign nationals work hard to earn the privilege to live and work in the U.S permanently each year. But while the green card allows you to be a permanent U.S resident, it helps to understand that it comes with a set of conditions. One of these conditions is respecting and obeying the laws of the land.
According to U.S law, a conviction for certain crimes can seriously jeopardize your permanent residency status. Two of the biggest problems people run into include:
Crimes of moral turpitude
The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) does not expressly articulate what amounts to a crime of moral turpitude. However, any crime that impinges on your moral duty to society will certainly fall into this category.
Crimes like a deliberate attempt to hurt other people, theft, arson, kidnapping, fraud, burglary, felony DUI and assault with a deadly weapon can be deemed as crimes of moral turpitude and, thus, justify your removal from the country.
A conviction for certain felonies can lead to the revocation of your green card and subsequent removal from the U.S. Crimes that amount to an aggravated felony include murder, dealing in firearms, money laundering and serious tax evasions. If convicted, you could serve time in jail and then be deported.
If you are a U.S permanent and you are charged with a crime, it helps to know how your conviction will affect your right to remain in the country. Knowing your legal options can help you safeguard your interests.