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Beware the Immigration Consequences of White Collar Crime

Often, when noncitizens are involved in white collar crime, the Department of Homeland Security adds their considerable resources into the pooled efforts to investigate and prosecute the defendants. Alongside the IRS, SEC, FBI and other traditional agencies involved in fighting crime, the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) branch of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will often get involved when suspects are noncitizens.

The potential consequences of a criminal conviction are especially harsh for noncitizens, because any immigrant who has not yet become a citizen or who is not eligible for citizenship can be deported on the basis of certain crimes or “immoral” acts. These offenses are listed in the Immigration and Nationality Act, at 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a), and they include:

  • Controlled substance offenses;
  • Crimes of moral turpitude;
  • Multiple moral turpitude convictions;
  • Aggravated felonies;
  • Firearm and destructive device convictions;
  • Espionage, sabotage, treason, and other crimes;
  • Crimes of domestic violence, stalking, child abuse, abandonment, or neglect;
  • Failure to register as a sex offender;
  • Violating a protective order;
  • High speed flight from an immigration checkpoint; and
  • Failure to register or falsification of documents.

Beyond the types of crime listed above, which could expose an immigrant to deportability, there are several sets of offenses that could result in an immigrant being classified as “inadmissible”. These are codified in the Immigration and Nationality Act at 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a). Most commonly, inadmissibility impacts green card holders who apply for citizenship, and can jeopardize their chances of naturalizing. These offenses include crimes of moral turpitude, controlled substance offenses, and multiple criminal convictions. To understand the potential impact of any criminal offense or set of criminal offenses, consult with a knowledgeable Chicago-area defense attorney.

In addition to criminal convictions, many acts can place an immigrant in danger of deportation, without even requiring that court proceedings took place. These acts can include unprosecuted or merely suspected crimes of moral turpitude, controlled substance offenses, prostitution, fraud or misrepresentation, false claims to United States citizenship, alien smuggling, marriage fraud, human trafficking, money laundering, espionage, sabotage, treason, terrorism, international child abduction, and others.

Seek Counsel from an Aggressive Defense Attorney

For noncitizens who have been accused of white collar crimes, it is crucial to understand the impact of a conviction, charges, or even a bare accusation. Definitions of many relevant terms, such as aggravated felonies and crimes of moral turpitude, are incredibly complex, and they are often applied in counterintuitive ways. Because of this, you should seek advice from a criminal defense attorney with experience advocating for immigrant clients. Contact Goldman & Associates for representation by a dedicated Illinois defense attorney who will fight for your right to remain in the United States.