Criminal Immigration

Criminal Immigration, also known as


Is an area of the law where immigration law and criminal law converge.

Criminal immigration is one of the most important and specialized areas of deportation and removal defense.

Two important federal laws, sections 212 and 237 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, make immigrants ineligible for a greencard or deportable for committing crimes such as domestic violence.

But most crimes – including DUI, drug crimes, or domestic violence – fall under state law. For immigrants to know if a state crime they committed falls under federal laws of deportation, they must rely on a “crimmigration” attorney.

Attorneys experienced in both criminal and immigration law are able to identify which crimes committed fall under the categories of federal crimes that have immigration consequences. As a result of over two decades of Supreme Court decisions, attorneys must use the categorical approach to determine whether a state crime has federal consequences such as deportation.

Crimmigration is a sub-specialty of immigration law which employs the categorical approach to determine if a state crime has immigration consequences

The categorical approach has its origins in Taylor v. United States, 495 U.S. 575 (1990).

After decisions in Moncrieffe v. Holder, 569 U.S. 184 (2013) and Descamps v. U.S., 570 U.S. __ (2013) defined the scope of the categorical approach, immigrants today are left with a clear structure in how to analyze whether their state-based crimes make them deportable or otherwise ineligible for a greencard.