Immigrants typically have to adhere to a very strict code of personal conduct if they wish to continue living in the United States. It only takes a few seemingly-minor mistakes for the right of someone to live and work in the United States to be compromised.
There are several types of criminal offenses that could impact an individual’s immigration standing. For example, convictions for felonies, violent crimes and any offense that the courts determine constitutes a crime of moral turpitude could potentially leave someone at risk of removal from the United States.
A stay of removal may be an option in certain cases
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services evaluates immigrants and oversees lawful stays in the country. They grant visas and green cards, and they can also determine if someone no longer meets the criteria to legally stay in the country. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) helps enforce current rules, often by removing people from the country.
In some cases, those who could face removal because of a criminal conviction may qualify for a stay of removal. A pending criminal appeal is one of the scenarios that might justify requesting a stay of removal from ICE. A successful appeal would undo someone’s conviction and therefore establish that they meet the requirements to remain in the United States.
Other times, people could delay or prevent their removal by attending an immigration hearing to appeal a prior decision and convincing a judge that the charges against them or the penalties imposed do not meet the removal standards.
Those facing criminal charges as immigrants still have rights
In most cases, Immigrants with pending charges can mount a defense and remain in the country until they resolve their legal matters. Immigrants who have recently been convicted of a crime may have the right to file an appeal and could also have the right to legal assistance as they navigate the immigration process.
Requesting a stay of removal is one of many potentially viable strategies employed by those who are worried about their immigration status after being accused or convicted of criminal wrongdoing.