Committing a crime almost always results in severe consequences. These consequences can be harsh enough for a US citizen, but can be even more troublesome for someone who was born in another country. The punishment for any non-citizen who commits a felony crime can include deportation. But, exactly what kinds of criminal activity can result in this penalty?
Crimes that can result in deportation for non-US citizens include many types of aggravated felony crimes. These include murder, federal firearms charges and drug trafficking crimes. Conviction on any of these charges can also result in the downgrading of a non-citizen's immigration status. In 1988, Congress added many additional crimes to the list of deportation-eligible offenses. These now include filing a fraudulent tax return, theft, simple battery, failure to appear in court and consensual sex between a 17-year old and a 16-year old. A non-citizen can even be deported after being convicted of a crime that was not on this list, but added in after the individual was convicted.
Non-citizens can also face deportation for being convicted of crimes that involve "moral turpitude." Moral turpitude simply refers to a person's personal conduct that is contrary or against the moral standards of their community. These types of crimes can include child abuse, wire fraud, carrying a concealed weapon, perjury and tax evasion. In many cases, a non-citizen who is convicted of this kind of crime will be deported and not allowed to re-enter the US at any future time.
It's important to understand that the list of deportation offenses can change. However, any Maryland resident who is also a non-citizen and is facing criminal charges may want to get more information in order to find out how to prevent any charges from affecting their immigration status.
Source: immigration.findlaw.com, "How does a felony affect immigration status?", Accessed June 24, 2016