Criminal Defense of Immigrants
§ 20.26 A. Elements of the Inadmissibility Ground
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A person who has been convicted of one crime involving moral turpitude is inadmissible. This ground of inadmissibility has several requirements:
(1) This ground of inadmissibility arises from a “criminal conviction.” See Chapter 7, supra, and § 20.27, infra.
(2) In the alternative, the statute provides that an immigrant’s “admission” of committing one CMT triggers inadmissibility. See § 18.8, infra.
(3) The conviction must be for an offense falling within the definition of “crime of moral turpitude.” See § 20.2, supra.
The immigration statutes provide three exceptions to this rule:
(1) If the conviction falls within the Petty Offense Exception to inadmissibility, the immigrant will not be excluded despite the CMT conviction. See § 20.29, infra.
(2) If the conviction falls within the Youthful Offender Exception to inadmissibility, the immigrant will not be excluded despite the CMT conviction. See § 20.30, infra.
(3) If the conviction is for a “purely political offense,” it does not trigger inadmissibility. See § 20.31, infra.
 INA § 212(a)(2)(A)(i), 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(2)(A)(i). A noncitizen who comes within one of the grounds of inadmissibility will be blocked from obtaining a green card or some other forms of immigration benefit. For example, if the person is undocumented but could get a green card through a family member, being inadmissible may prevent this. An inadmissible permanent resident who wants to travel outside the U.S. may be stopped at the border upon return and not permitted to be admitted into the United States.
 INA § 212(a)(2)(A)(i)(I), 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(2)(A)(i)(I).