Where are immigrants most at risk?
1. After leaving the country and trying to re-enter: At an airport, seaport, or at the border, immigration agents may detain a non-citizen if they have an old conviction (even a misdemeanor), false papers, no status or a deportation order. If you have ANY kind of criminal conviction, including a CWOF ("Continued Without a Finding") in Massachusetts, speak to an attorney with experience in crime-related deportation before leaving the country.
2. When applying for citizenship or adjustment of status: Many people put themselves at risk of deportation when they attempt to adjust their status by applying for citizenship or a green card when they have old orders of deportation or past convictions. Undocumented people who apply for adjustment of status will be subject to deportation if their application is denied. If you have ANY criminal conviction, including a CWOF in Massachusetts (see above), speak to an attorney experienced in crime-related deportation before applying for adjustment of status or citizenship.
This section is meant only to flag factors which may be able to stop a deportation. The laws in each of these areas are very complex. Contact an attorney to find out more.
1. Citizenship: U.S. citizens cannot be deported. Citizenship law is complicated, but if any of your parents or grandparents are/were U.S. citizens, there is a chance that you are a citizen. Notify the Immigration Judge and consult with an attorney.
You are eligible to apply for naturalization if you have had your green card for five years or more (or for three years or more if you are married to a U.S. citizen). Although most criminal convictions prevent you from being eligible for U.S. citizenship, you may be able to apply for naturalization and ask the Immigration Judge to stop the case to remove you, if you have maintained â€œgood moral characterâ€ for the past five years.
2. Cancellation of Removal: You may be eligible for cancellation of removal if:
- you have been a permanent resident (had a green card) for at least 5 years, AND
- you have lived in the US continuously for 7 years after having been admitted to the U.S. (in any status), AND
- you have not been convicted of an aggravated felony.