The twin issues of illegal immigration and crimes committed by immigrants have surfaced with greater frequency in the news in recent weeks. In part, the start of the 2016 presidential campaign has brought increased attention to the immigration-related issue of border security. For example, Republican presidential candidate and Wisconsin governor, Scott Walker, recently advocated building a wall across the United States' northern border with Canada to deter illegal immigration and provide additional security. This proposal would likely have a significant impact on Washington State and its current thirteen sanctioned border crossings points into Canada.
At the same time as the focus on border security has increased in the political arena, the federal government has stepped up efforts to deport immigrants that have committed crimes or pose a threat to public safety. Recently, immigration agents arrested 244 immigrants in coordinated actions across Southern California. While half of these individuals had been convicted of felonies, the remaining immigrants picked up in this sweep, had only been convicted of misdemeanor crimes. These recent arrests highlight the potential danger of deportation facing immigrants who are charged with particular crimes.
Deportation of Aliens
Under U.S. immigration law, an “alien” is defined as any person who is not a citizen or national of the United States. See U.S.C. § 1101(a)(3). This broad definition includes individuals legally living in the U.S. under a temporary visa or a green card, as well as individuals who have illegally entered the country. The conditions under which an alien can be deported are found in 8 U.S.C. § 1227. This statute states that an alien can be deported from the U.S. for numerous activities, including, but not limited to:
- Committing marriage fraud;
- Failing to register as a sex offender;
- Knowingly helping smuggle other aliens into the country within five years of their own date of U.S. entry;
- Being convicted of certain drug crimes;
- Being convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude; or
- Being convicted of an aggravated felony.
Seattle and King County Immigration Defense
Being arrested and charged with a crime is a particularly scary experience for immigrants. The threat of deportation or a change in legal status accompanies many different criminal charges. In addition, immigration law is one of the most complex and challenging areas of law. Experienced immigration attorney, Steve Karimi, can provide you with a strong defense if you are an immigrant charged with a crime in Washington State. Mr. Karimi is a former prosecutor who uses his background and insight to fight for clients charged with all kinds of criminal misdemeanor and felony charges.
If you or a loved one is an immigrant that has been charged with a crime in Washington State, contact the Law Office of Steve Karimi today at 206-621-8777 or 206-660-6200 (24-hour hotline). Our office assists individuals from across the state – including those in King County, Snohomish County, Skagit County, Whatcom County, and Kittitas County – with all manners of criminal charges. Do not hesitate – call today to schedule a free and confidential initial consultation.