Immigration crimes come with unique consequences. The laws involved in these cases are complicating, confusing, and often harsh.
If you face these charges, you will need the assistance of an Atlanta federal immigration crimes lawyer. Your dedicated attorney will work with you to protect your legal rights and pursue possible defenses or mitigation strategies.
Types of Immigration Crimes
Sometimes, the crime itself is entering the United States. One of the more common federal immigration crimes involves re-entering the country after deportation or removal from its borders. Crossing the border without approval from the government is itself a felony offense.
In fact, re-entering the country can result in a twenty-year prison sentence. Immigrants convicted of other crimes can face harsher penalties and long prison terms in addition to deportation.
Federal laws also create penalties for fraudulent practices, such as forging or falsifying immigration-related documents, entering a fraudulent marriage, creating a false passport, or using identity theft to enter or stay in the country. Any of these crimes can lead to lengthy prison sentences. Anyone facing immigration crime allegations should contact an Atlanta criminal defense lawyer.
Citizens Can Convict Federal Immigration Crimes
Not only do federal immigration crimes apply to immigrants, but other citizens of the United States may also face charges for violating immigration laws. The following crimes involve violations of American immigration laws that citizens may commit:
Transporting: 8 U.S.C. Section 1324(a)(1)(A)(ii) outlaws the transport of a known or likely alien in the country illegally to help them remain in the country
Harboring: 8 U.S.C. Section 1324(a)(1)(A)(iii) creates penalties for those who recklessly or knowingly conceal an alien illegally in the country from detection
Inducing Illegal Immigration: 8 U.S.C. Section 1324(a)(1)(A)(iv) makes it illegal to induce aliens to enter the country unlawfully
Bringing Illegal Immigrants to the United States: 8 U.S.C. Section 1324(a)(2) outlaws bringing or attempting to bring individuals into the country illegally
Other crimes also apply to aiding aliens to enter, remain in, or find employment in the United States in violation of the law. The above crimes can lead to severe penalties, so anyone facing such accusations will need a strong Atlanta criminal defense attorney.
Defenses Available to Undocumented Aliens
Sometimes, the defense may involve showing that the government wrongfully charged someone with unlawfully being in the country. There are ways to defend even in cases where the charges are not incorrect.
Asylum seekers may request the ability to stay to protect themselves from persecution in their home countries. Withholding of removal is another similar strategy that applies when persecution is more likely than not in the individual’s home country. Deferred action, prosecutorial discretion, cancellation of removal, and voluntary departure are all strategies that may help a person avoid the worst consequences of an immigration-related crime.
In certain specific cases, such as if the immigrant is a battered woman, there might be protections under a law such as the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). The proper course of action will vary based on the facts of the case. An attorney experienced in federal immigration crimes in Atlanta will look for the best defenses in each given case.
Hiring an Atlanta Federal Immigration Attorney Today
Federal immigration crimes are serious and can impact immigrants and citizens alike. Even without prison terms, convictions can mean deportation and the inability to return to the United States.
For individuals living in America, these allegations are serious. If you face charges for one of the above crimes or a related one, contact an Atlanta federal immigration crimes lawyer for a consultation.