Can Domestic Violence Affect Immigration Status?
By Jonathan Blecher on July 31, 2019
Not only is Miami absolutely beautiful, but it has one of the most ethnically diverse populations in the country. A large percentage of its residents are originally from places such as Cuba, Central America, and South America.
With Miami’s large immigrant population, a lot of people who are facing domestic violence charges in the city are afraid of how the criminal case could affect their immigration status, and there is a very good reason for this. On the other hand, some Green Card holders have no idea that domestic violence is classified as a “deportable offense,” which I’ll explain below.
Removal Proceedings for Domestic Violence
When an immigrant becomes a lawful permanent resident (Green Card holder), they are expected to be law-abiding citizens and not break any US state or federal laws. As long as the immigrant is not a US citizen, they can face removal proceedings (deportation) if they break certain US laws; for example, if they commit a felony, if they commit a drug offense, a violent offense, or domestic violence.
Certain crimes are listed under US immigration law as being grounds for deportation. If a Green Card holder commits spousal abuse or child abuse and they are convicted, they can be placed in removal proceedings by an immigration judge.
The types of crimes that can lead to removal proceedings include but are not limited to:
- Felony DUI
- Domestic Violence
- Assault & Battery
- Drug crimes
- Immigration Fraud
- Sex Offenses
- Theft Crimes
A permanent resident may escape removal proceedings if they committed a “petty offense” that is punishable by no more than one year in jail (misdemeanor). “Does that mean a misdemeanor domestic violence charge won’t lead to removal proceedings?”
While a Green Card holder may not be deported for a misdemeanor DUI or shoplifting, that does not necessarily apply to domestic violence cases because they are considered a “crime of moral turpitude” under federal immigration law. Meaning, they are considered more serious because they go against the morals of our society.
Facing domestic violence or assault charges in Miami? Contact my firm to request a free case evaluation.