Criminal Vacatures for Immigration Purposes
An overview of the criminal consequences of certain crimes and the options for vacatures for immigration purposes.
GenerallyCertain crimes, such as Aggravated Felonies (as defined by Section 101(a)(43)(A)-(U)) or Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude (defined on a case by case basis, but are generally acts that are inherently vile and evil) disqualify an individual from applying for specific forms of relief or waivers. For that reason, the only way such an individual may remain in the country or obtain his/her citizenship is through post-conviction relief/vacating the non-waivable conviction.
Aggravated FeloniesPer INA Section 101(a)(43)(A) - (U)
Murder, rape, or sexual abuse of a minor;
Illicit trafficking in a controlled substance
Illicit trafficking in firearms or destructive devices
An offense relating to engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specific unlawful activity if the amount of the funds exceeded $10,000;
A crime of violence for which the term of imprisonment is at least one year;
A theft or burglary offense for which the term of imprisonment [is] at least one year;
An offense relating to the demand for or receipt of ransom or child pornography;
An offense relating to racketeer influenced corrupt organizations;
An offense relating to the owning, controlling, managing, or supervising of a prostitution business;
An offense relating to gathering or transmitting national defense information;
An offense that involves fraud or deceit in which the loss to the victim or victims exceeds $10,000;
An offense relating to alien smuggling;
An offense committed by an alien who was previously deported on the basis of a conviction for another aggravated felony;
An offense which either is falsely making, forging, counterfeiting, mutilating, or altering a instrument;
Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude (CIMT)As mentioned, CIMTs involve crimes that inherently immoral and contrary to community values. Examples include:
VacaturesIn Massachusetts, judges may vacate prior convictions upon a showing that "justice may not have been done" in the prior proceedings. This includes convictions arising either from trials or guilty pleas.