Justin Bieber’s Case
Probably not, because he is Justin Bieber and he will have the best attorneys money can provide. That is not the case for the majority of the approximately 400,000 immigrants deported each year. Still, his stupid choices give your NJ immigration lawyer a good opportunity to discuss how unforgiving our deportation system has become.
Before his DUI, police raided Bieber’s Los Angeles home following allegations that he egged his neighbor’s house. They found drugs in his home. Bieber was previously accused of using drugs and hitting a photographer. Bieber is not an immigrant but instead in the U.S. on a temporary, renewable visa; however, due to his crimes, he could find himself removable.
Your average immigrant could be deported for Bieber’s alleged offenses. Approximately 70 percent of legal immigrants (even permanent residents) are deported for minor, non-violent crimes. For decades, Congress has been expanding the list of minor crimes resulting in automatic deportation. For example, hitting a photographer, as Mr. Bieber was alleged to have done in May of 2013 in California, could be considered a battery. A conviction In California could result in up to a year in jail. Such an offense can be classified as an “aggravated felony,” by an Immigration Judge. That would not only lead to automatic deportation, but it also bans a person from the U.S. forever. Even a shoplifting charge of $200 of merchandise can be considered an “aggravated felony.”
“Aggravated felony” is a misleading name for a category of crimes that leads to mandatory imprisonment removes any defense against deportation. “Aggravated felonies” are not necessarily felonies nor aggravated. Initially Originally, “aggravated felony” only applied to some of the worst crimes, such as murder and drug trafficking. However, the list has kept growing and today it includes more than thirty offenses, including simple battery, theft, filing a false tax return, and failing to appear in court.
Let’s not forget drug-related crimes. Any immigrant or visa holder convicted of any drug-related crime will be deported with one exception. Any drug considered a controlled dangerous substance by federal law is a deportable offense, except for one incident of possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana.
As we consider immigration reform, we should ask what kind of system doesn’t distinguish between a murderer and a shoplifter. Immigration Judges should have the discretion to evaluate all of the circumstances in a person’s case. A Judge should consider not just the seriousness of the offense, but mitigating factors and ties to the U.S.
Contact a NJ Immigration Lawyer Today
If you are an immigrant and charged with a crime call us at 888-582-6146, what you don’t know can get you deported. You should also get a copy of our book, “An Immigrant’s Guide to Municipal Court,” to learn what to expect in Municipal Court and Immigration Court or call us and we will send you a copy.