Criminal Defense of Immigrants


§ 12.26 (A)

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(A)  In General.  In 1996, Congress created a new, very broad ground of deportation for those, including juveniles, who suffer convictions or civil findings of domestic violence.[212]  A person is also deportable whom a civil or criminal court has found to have violated a domestic violence protective order, even without a criminal conviction.  This civil-court finding-based deportation ground applies to juveniles, since it does not depend on the existence of a criminal conviction, and it is likely (though not certain) that a juvenile court would be considered a “civil or criminal court” for this purpose.  It is therefore urgent to avoid a juvenile court finding that the minor violated a domestic violence TRO.  If such a finding is suffered, appealing the finding will arguably delay its finality and prevent the DHS from using it to begin deportation proceedings until the appeal has been completed.  See § 7.37, supra.


                Immigration counsel can argue that authority holding that juvenile court findings do not constitute convictions would preclude deportability based on this type of finding as well.[213]

[212] INA § 237(a)(2)(E), 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(E).  See § § 22.33-22.40, infra.

[213] Matter of Ramirez-Rivero, 18 I. & N. Dec. 135 (BIA 1981); Matter of CM, 5 I. & N. Dec. 327 (BIA 1953) (juvenile finding of commission of crime involving moral turpitude does not constitute a “conviction” or trigger inadmissibility).