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My brother is a permanent resident and was convicted of a felony (theft) what are his chances of not being deported?

Seattle, WA |

On Jan. 11th 2008, my brother was convicted of fraud felony (theft) and was sentenced 18 months but was granted work release program. The judge is giving him 5 weeks to get the work release program set up but three days ago my brother was caught driving without a license and was taken to custody. We bailed him out but later was not released due to an immigration hold so they are still holding him at King County Jail but was transferred this morning (1-21-08) to Regional Justice Center which is also part of King County Jail. Why was he transferred? And when I looked online on his status all it says is, IMMIGRATION HOLD. It doesn't state a cause number. How long can they hold him in jail for immigration hold after he already post bail. The jail is not part of Immigration so why is he being held for that long for immigration purposes? If anyone can answer these questions it would greatly help our family. I thank you in advance for answering these questions.

Attorney Answers 4


  1. It appears from your narrative that your brother is being held near the Regional Justice Center for transfer to the immigration detention facility, since he maybe or already has been served with an Order to Show Cause as to why he shouldn't be removed (deported) from the United States. In which case, the bond for the DWLS charge really doesn't do much. And if he is served with an Order to Show Cause for Removal, he'll need to post an immigration bond, which is more difficult to obtain and more costly, if available at all.

    At this point, you need very qualified legal counsel to assist your brother.Contact Immigration counsel at once!

    I hope this helps.


  2. Based on your narrative it would appear he has been served with a Notice To Appear and is in removal proceedings pursuant to INA 240. The felony theft would appear to be a removable offense for having been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude. If so, he is potentially subject to mandatory detention pursuant to INA 236(c). I would suggest aligning yourself with an experienced immigration/removal attorney immediately.


  3. It would be helpful to have more facts in your case, but any person who is not a United States citizen, including lawful permanent residents, can be deported because of a criminal conviction. The Immigration and Nationality Act recognizes three categories of crimes that can place a non-citizen at risk of deportation or prevent a non-citizen from ever becoming a lawful permanent resident.
    Aggravated felonies are the most serious crimes and are specifically defined by statute in the Immigration and Nationality Act. These crimes include theft and crimes of violence. For both of these crimes a non-citizen can be placed in deportation proceedings and deported from the United States, if the person is sentenced to more than one-year imprisonment, including any suspended time. A “crime of violence” is a term vaguely defined by the United States Code and could include convictions for assault in the fourth degree and felony driving under the influence.
    Crimes of moral turpitude are the second category of crimes that can impact a non-citizen’s ability to remain in the United States. Federal circuit court decisions and the Board of Immigration Appeals define these crimes. Generally, a crime of moral turpitude is defined as a crime that encompasses a base or vile act. Although the case law interpreting the term is not entirely uniform, the following types of crimes have been held to involve moral turpitude:
    • crimes (felonies or misdemeanors) in which either an intent to defraud or an intent to steal is an element;
    • crimes (felonies or misdemeanors) in which there is an element of intentional or reckless infliction of harm to persons or property;
    • felonies, and some misdemeanors, in which malice is an element;
    • sex offenses, in which some “lewd” intent is an element.
    A third category of crimes specifically listed in the Immigration and Nationality Act may either trigger deportation or prevent a non-citizen from attaining lawful permanent resident status. Crimes included in this category include violations of any law relating to a controlled substance, domestic violence convictions, judicial determinations of protective order violations and convictions under any law of purchasing, selling, using or possessing a firearm or destructive device.

    Your brother's felony fraud conviction would appear to be a crime of moral turpitude bringing him squarely within the reach of deportation law.

    I would suggest you hire an immigration lawyer at once as your brother is at risk for deportation.


  4. The felony theft would appear to be a crime involving moral turpatude, thus require mandatory detention. Depending on what country he is from and whether he has fear of being killed or torturned in his home country may make him eligible for either deferal or witholding of removal from the United States. He could be held without bail however if his home country will not accept him back he may be eligible for a 90 day review and released on that basis. In any event you need a qualified deportatio defense attorney to assist.

    Evan Oshan
    Law Offices of Evan M. Oshan
    P.O. Pox 861
    Mercer Island, WA 98040-0861
    310 906 7137

    Disclaimer: This is meant to be general legal information and should not be relied upon. Furthermore the attorney client privledge does not apply.

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