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Was process through ICE, Immigration gave me a NTA. Please clarify and what's my options?

Hayward, CA |

I was processed at port after a vacation cruise and I've been served a "Notice to Appear" and put into deporation proceedings. In the NTA, it states that I was convicted of welfare fraud which was long time ago but it was "stricken/dismissed/set aside" about 3 years after the conviction. The injuried party was split into two, 1) Housing Authortiy and 2)Food Stamp with restitution payment of $8000 and $3000 to the two victims respectively. Would this be considered an aggravated felony? In the NTA, it states that Section 212(a)(2)(A)(i) which is a crime of moral turpitude. What are my options and does ICE have a good case against me? This is in California. Thank you.

Current status: LPR but ICE took away green card

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Attorney answers 6


You really need to have an immediate conference with an experienced removal defense immigration attorney to carefully review and assess your case and options. This is not a proper forum to address such matters, i.e., removal cases involving convictions.


Fraud is definitely a crime involving moral turpitude. I can point some possibilities, but of course, you need a lawyer to actually obtain and review the criminal proceedings, as well as the rest of circumstances, if you want to fight your removal. Moreover, you do not status what your current status is: Are you a lawful permanent resident, on a visa, without status?

First off, the legal status of the conviction is unclear (both factually and from a legal standpoint). If you were actually convicted, but the conviction was just set aside, then it will still count. But if you were not convicted, and it was dismissed, then there is no CIMT.

Secondly, it is possible that it fits within the petty exception for a single crime of moral turpitude.

I do not think that this would be an aggravated felony, unless it were characterized as money laundering.

You definitely have reasons to be optimistic, go see a lawyer right away! And good luck to you.


You would have to tell me how "long ago" your conviction took place. There are some instances that a fraud conviction can be waived if done before you had been a legal resident for at least 7 years, others exemptions exist as well. However, an aggravated felony cannot be expunged or dismissed for what appears to be administrative reasons. Like the other counsel said, an experienced attorney is absolutely needed for you at this time.

All answers to immigration questions should not be taken as legally binding advice. If you have an immigration issue, please call me at Pacifica Legal Services 805-290-4930 and make an appointment for an initial 30 minute consultation. Additional time is billed at $100.00 per 30 minute increments. Todas las respuestas a las preguntas de inmigración no deben tomarse como asesoramiento legal. Si usted tiene un problema de inmigración, por favor llámeme al Pacifica Legal Services 805-290-4930 y hacer una cita para una consulta inicial de 30 minutos. El tiempo adicional se factura a $ 100.00 por incrementos de 30 minutos.


My colleagues are correct. You need an immigration lawyer. To determine whether or not this is an aggravated felony requires a detailed review of the entire record of conviction. I would be happy to help you with that if you are interested. Either way, the government has put you into deportation (removal) proceedings, and if you want to keep your green card and stay in the US, now is the time to fight for it. Feel free to contact my office to schedule an appointment if you are interested. And either way, I wish you the best of luck.


Otis C. Landerholm, Esq.


Just in case you missed this important tip: Get a lawyer as soon as you can.


This is an issue that requires a critical analysis by a competent immigration attorney, specifically one who practices deportation defense. This may or may not be an aggravated felony, but it certainly is a crime involving moral turpitude. A state dismissal, unless on constitutional grounds, is generally not recognized by federal law.