Don't sponsor him until you become a U.S. citizen. Then, he can get his green card without leaving the U.S. Most probably, his shoplifting conviction constitutes "one petty offense" meaning that there will be no negative immigration consequences.
The Judge does not decide the I-130 petition. The Judge will let the USCIS do so.
Please click the link at the very bottom for additional information.
Carl Shusterman, Esq.
Former INS Trial Attorney (1976-82)
Board Certified Immigration Attorney (1986 - Present)
Schedule a Legal Consultation - Telephonic, Skype or In-Person
600 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1550
Los Angeles, CA 90017
(213) 394-4554 x0
Web: www.shusterman.com (...