How can I fight my deportation if I'm an LPR with a criminal record?
If you are an LPR who violated certain immigration laws or committed certain crimes, you could lose your residency status and be removed (deported) from the U.S.
The most common benefit that LPRs seek is Cancellation of Removal for LPRs, which can let you keep your residency. If you are an LPR and can show the following, you may qualify for cancellation of removal for LPRs:
- You have been an LPR for at least five years;
- As of the day you committed the crime that makes you deportable, you had lived in the U.S. continuously for at least seven years after being legally admitted, and
- You have not been convicted of an aggravated felony as defined by federal law.
An aggravated felony is defined differently under federal law than under state law. The definition that matters is the federal definition of an aggravated felony. There is a long list of crimes that are aggravated felonies. The most common are murder, rape, sexual assault of a minor, drug trafficking, some violent crimes, and serious theft crimes.
Hire a lawyer if you are an LPR convicted of a crime. If the judge finds that one of your crimes is an aggravated felony, and you are ineligible for another benefit that would allow you to stay in the U.S., you will be deported. Immigration judges cannot consider any benefit for you under those circumstances.