Criminal Defense of Immigrants


§ 15.30 a. Before Removal Proceedings Begin

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An immigrant is always free to leave the United States voluntarily prior to the beginning of removal proceedings.  Following conviction or admission of an offense that triggers inadmissibility (e.g., a crime involving moral turpitude), however, a noncitizen will likely be deemed inadmissible if s/he tries thereafter to re-enter the United States.


                At the border, a noncitizen may be granted voluntary departure or allowed officially to withdraw an application for admission, or may be informally turned back.  See § 15.16, supra.




Ninth Circuit

United States v. Becerril-Lopez, 541 F.3d 881 (9th Cir. Aug. 29, 2008) (immigration judge was not required to give advice of availability of pre-hearing voluntary departure, under pre-IIRAIRA law, because the relief would have been granted prior to the respondents appearance before the IJ). Note: The court gave no opinion on the possible outcome of this issue had post-IIRAIRA rules applied, which allow the IJ to grant "pre-hearing" voluntary departure at the master calendar hearing. INA 240B(a)(1).