Those involved in the immigration and naturalization processes know that simply earning the right to enter the United States does not signal the end of their journey. Several factors beyond their admittance can have an impact on their ability to remain and (if it is their goal) achieve citizenship.
Chief among these is their conduct. If they happen to come under criminal scrutiny in Schaumburg, that can not only threaten their long-term residency in the U.S. but also their current standing.
How criminal charges may affect immigration
Indeed, according to information shared by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, of the deportation cases enforced by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, 91% involved people who had criminal charges pending against them (or already had a criminal conviction). There are many misconceptions out there about exactly how an association with criminal activity can impact an immigrant’s residency status. Some may say that deportation is only possible when one faces a felony conviction, or if their conviction only results in probation. That is not the case. Misdemeanor offenses can result in deportation. The same is true even if a conviction from many years prior suddenly comes to light. People who have lived and worked in the U.S. for many years (or have several members of their family here) can also face deportation for criminal activity.
Not necessarily guaranteed
Yet a criminal charge may not automatically lead to one’s deportation (nor may a subsequent conviction). While law enforcement personnel must report criminal charges against an immigrant to immigration officials, prosecutors do often have leeway in arranging for one facing such charges to remain in the country (even if convicted). However, per the U.S. Department of Justice, an attorney must have consent from the appropriate immigration authorities to offer such a deal.