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Immigration Consequences of Crimes

An immigrant can be removed (deported) and excluded from coming into the United States if he is convicted of a “crime involving moral turpitude” (CIMT), certain drug offenses, or “aggravated felony.” CIMT are not specifically defined. However, the general idea conveyed in the immigration law is that these crimes include fraud, larceny and harm to persons or property. Whether driving under the influence will be considered as a CIMT depends on the circumstances.

Crimes against the person involve moral turpitude when criminal intent is an element of the offense. Such criminal intent may be inferred from the presence of unjustified violence or the use of a dangerous weapon. Often, lesser related offenses or lesser degrees of the same offenses might not involve moral turpitude absent criminal intent, unjustified violence, or the use of a dangerous weapon as elements of the offense.

Examples of crimes against the person found to involve moral turpitude (CIMT):

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Mandatory Detention of Immigration Violators

Not all noncitizens who come into the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) can be released on bond (bail). An immigration detainee cannot be released on bond while awaiting his hearing in immigration court if he has been convicted of certain crimes and has been taken into immigration custody,

Under Immigration and Nationality Act section 236 (c), crimes requiring mandatory detentions are:

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