Criminal Defense of Immigrants


§ 7.5 B. Inadmissibility Grounds

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Appendix E contains a checklist, and a brief description, of all crime-related grounds of inadmissibility, and indicates which of them are triggered by a criminal conviction.  See also Chapter 18, infra.  Only three are triggered by a criminal conviction, but the first two grounds are very common:

                (1)           Conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude.  See § 18.13, infra.

(2)           Conviction of a crime relating to a controlled substance.  See § 18.14, infra.

(3)                 Multiple convictions with aggregate sentences imposed of five years. 

See § 18.15, infra


A noncitizen who has a conviction that triggers a ground of inadmissibility may also be disqualified from a number of other immigration benefits.  See § 18.9, infra.


· Admissibility

· Aggravated Felony

· Cancellation of Removal for Lawful Permanent Residents

· Cancellation of Removal for Non-Lawful Permanent Residents

· Controlled Substance Possession

· Crime of Violence

· Crime of Moral Turpitude

· Family Unity Program

· Good Moral Character

· Lawful Permanent Resident Status

· Legalization Program

· Legalization Program for Special Agricultural Workers

· Naturalization

· Particularly Serious Crime

· Petty Offense Exception

· Political Asylum

· Registry

· Removal for Certain Aggravated Felony Convictions

· Removal for One Crime of Moral Turpitude Conviction

· Restriction on Removal

· Suspension of Deportation

· Temporary Protected Status

· Violence Against Women Act

· Voluntary Departure at End of Removal Proceedings

· Withholding of Deportation


Counsel should check the requirements of any form of immigration benefit or relief applicable to the client, to determine the crime-related requirements.  See Chapter 24, infra.