This course will highlight and focus on the essential, but often overlooked, role of crimes as they relate to immigration law. In particular, the course will cover the immigration consequences of criminal convictions for the undocumented hoping to acquire legal status, prospective immigrants, visitors, and lawful permanent residents. The course is designed for any student who ever intends to practice immigration or criminal law.
The goal will be to leave the potential immigration or criminal defense attorney or prosecutor with a “roadmap” of how to deal with the prospect of the immigration consequences of a plea to a particular criminal offense or, more frequently, what to do with a client who has already been convicted of a crime that could result in deportation or the refusal of a visa or other form of lawful immigration status.
The course will begin with an explanation and analysis of the concepts of inadmissibility (refusal of admission to the United States) and deportability (grounds for removal from this country) and go on to the criminal grounds of each, as well as the differences between them. From there, the course will proceed to the grounds of each that do or do not require an actual conviction to trigger them.
The balance of the course will focus on the analysis of what it takes for a particular offense to trigger a bar to admission or result in one’s possible deportation. The class will analyze crimes as serious as those that constitute “aggravated felonies,” as well as crimes as seemingly innocuous as petty theft, and everything in between, in the immigration context, many of which can result in deportation or refusal of admission to the United States.