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An Overview Of Immigration Issues Involving Crimes In Virginia

Interviewer: Are you involved actively with the immigration cases?

Brian Geno: I have been practicing immigration law since the early 90s doing quite a few visas, also deportation defense and that’s really where the criminal consequences affects the immigration cases most often is the deportation defense. But the visa applications would include things like getting your green card or permanent residence, your naturalization and then, there are other programs available by statute, temporary protected status which essentially is a work permit for people whose country can’t accommodate them anymore. That’s what I do for immigration purposes and I’ve been doing that, as I said, for over 20 years.

The Significance of Hiring an Attorney For Immigration Issues in Virginia

Interviewer: What’s the significance of hiring an attorney for your immigration needs?

Brian Geno: Well, immigration is one area that is extremely complicated because you’ll find that the area of law is determined by, in large part, cases which are kind of hard to follow if you’re a layman. And even attorneys, it’s difficult to keep up with the case laws that sort of flows because not every case happens in the typical courts where you would find criminal cases or civil cases; it happens in immigration courts, it happens in administrative bodies and so those cases make it tough to follow.

The Statutes Which Govern Immigration are Very Complicated for a Layman

There are statutes which control the area and those are not always very clear, as you read them. It’s almost like reading the text codes sometimes because of the exceptions and the numerous things that they’ll see which are; if only such and such happens, then this will happen; or if that does happen then that won’t happen, and that is very hard for a person to follow. So, even if you could find the resources for immigration so that you can keep up with what to do, understanding what it means is very difficult. And so, it’s an area that really is — you must receive the help of an immigration attorney.

A Criminal Conviction Can Have Adverse Consequences on the Immigration Process

Interviewer: What events in the criminal law system affect an immigrant citizen conviction?

Brian Geno: The first and biggest one would be criminal convictions. There are number of types of cases that affect a person in different ways. For example, a criminal conviction to a crime that’s considered an aggravated crime or what they call an aggravated felony is — automatically bars you from being able to stay or being able to re-enter, I think what they call admissibility. There’s another kind of crime called a crime involving moral turpitude. And that one will also cause you to be deported or be inadmissible. Now, for that one, there are a couple of things a person might do to avoid being deported and then, there are other crimes which, once you’re convicted, would make it so that you can’t stay but they are not themselves a crime involving moral turpitude.

Suspected Involvement in an Aggravated Felony Can Prevent an Immigrant from Staying in the United States

They just have the ultimate effect upon you that they do not consider you a person of good moral character anymore and so, you’ll lose certain rights. So, the conviction is the big one. But some crimes – even if you’re not convicted, you’re just charged with it – it can have the effect of causing you to be deported. So, for example, if a criminal record shows that you were involved in either an aggravated felony or you’ve performed an act which would be illegal under the immigration law, even if they don’t prove that you did it, the fact that the court’s record shows that you did it or very strongly suspected of doing it, it can prevent you from staying. Those are events that can affect a non-citizen and cause him to lose some of his rights here.