Immigration Grounds of Inadmissibility
This section will outline immigration grounds of inadmissibility and also discuss Crimes of Moral Turpitude (CMT)
We are often asked by our clients what the difference is between being inadmissible and deportable. Someone who is in this country, under certain circumstances can be asked to leave, and that is deportation. Someone who is outside this country trying to enter could be inadmissible (previously called excludable). This means that if you have a Green Card, each time you re-enter the country you are seeking admission. If you have a criminal record, it could prevent you from entering. It that is the case with you, visit or call us immediately, especially if you intend to travel. [call 1-619-677-5727 or 214-764-3462]. The same rule applies to people who are Entering Without Inspection (EWI); these people are subject to all of the laws of admissibility. Entering Without Inspection, or being an EWI means that you entered the United States illegally).
This area of the law can be quite complex. For example, if you left America but did not enter a new country, you are not seeking readmission (let’s say you rented a boat and left the continent but only went fishing). Another example is a person who leaves America but for some reason is not admitted to Canada, that person has not left the United States and therefore does not seek readmission, avoiding the triggers of a person seeking readmission.
There are many grounds of inadmissibility (Inadmissibility means that you cannot enter the country whereas deportation is where you entered and they are aksing you to leave) and these are the ones we are called about the most.
GROUNDS OF INADMISSIBILITY
These are the grounds of inadmissibility or grounds the government has that will prevent you from entering the country
1. Health related grounds (mental retardation was removed as a ground in 1990) and AIDS was removed in 2008, as well as grounds based on:
3. Physical and mental disorders;
4. Drug abusers and addicts
(note: you don’t have to be an addict to be disqualified here). These persons do not have waivers available if this section applies to them; (please note that many times a single offence can lead to inadmissibility)
5. Someone likely to become a public charge (this is why Affidavits of Support are important);
6. People who have committed a crime of Moral Turpitude [again here the definition of what ‘is not’ a crime of moral turpitude is easier that ‘what is’; call us as soon as you have been charged]. (unless it is for a petty offense [maximum penalty is one year in prison AND you were not sentenced to more than 6 months]). The petty offense exception does not apply if you committed more than one offense or if it applies to a drug-related case;
By the way…the government does not offer a clear definition of what is or is not a Crime of Mora Turpitude. What falls and does not fall into this category is subject to change. Contact our office at 1-619-677-5727 so that we can ascertain what your offence is and we can help you understand whether your crime fits into the Crime of Moral Turpitude section or not. This is a very popular area for immigration lawyers as many crimes are considered Crimes of Moral Turpitude. There are books written about Crimes of Moral Turpitude. If you are unsure, take no chances here and have a waiver created. An immigration appeal takes more than year in most cases and will slow you down tremendously as well as preventing you from traveling.
7. Drug-related offences. If they believe or know that you are a trafficker in any controlled substance or has reason to believe you are or were as assister, abettor, conspirator or colluder in trafficking, that is sufficient. A conviction is only necessary if they use the “reason to believe” part of the statute. Also, if you are the spouse, son or daughter of someone inadmissible for trafficking, you too are inadmissible if in the last 5 years you had any financial or ‘other’ benefit from the trafficking and knew or reasonably should have known the benefit was due to the activity;
Waivers are available under certain circumstances for 30 grams or less or marijuana. Foreign convictions require mental intent but American ones do not.
8. Two or More Offenses. However convicted, if the aggregate conviction is for 5 years or more of confinement, even if suspended, brings you into this section;
9. Persons ordered Removed. If you have been deported or leave while deportation is pending, you face 10 years away unless you have permission to re-enter sooner from the AG (Attorney General). The case you file is a 212 waiver (please do not simply fill out the form without a legal brief. This is the legal equivalent of open-heart surgery and should not be attempted as a do-it-yourself exercise);
10. People who have overstayed by 6 months or 1 year; they are subject to 3 and 10-year bars, respectively (this law took effect April 1st of 1997). This section kicks in, by the way, once you leave the country;
11. If you are granted Voluntary Departure and do not leave, you will be in a state of unlawful presence as of the date the Voluntary Departure expires and you add on any unlawful presence you had before the Voluntary Departure. However, if you are granted Voluntary Departure after proceedings began, you will not be subject to the 3-year bar, but will be subject to the 10-year bar;