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Do immigrants get a second chance after a criminal mistake?

On Behalf of | May 17, 2016 | Criminal Defense, Immigration

When it comes to crimes committed in the U.S., while the conversation right now is around giving people second chances, one has to wonder if these second chances are going to be extended to immigrants. As of right now, the answer is still typically no.

Recently, the article titled, “A Nation of Second Chances, Except for Immigrants,” looked at the double standards many are facing in the U.S. While there is a push for people to be able to learn from their mistakes and move on with their lives — this push is not necessarily part of the conversation surrounding immigration. Rather, immigrants continue to face the same threats, including the threat of deportation, for making a mistake that led to criminal charges and convictions.

The post shares one heart-breaking story of a man who was convicted of drunk driving seven years ago. At the time, he was undocumented and did not have a driver’s license. Since then, he completed all necessary programs and has not had any issues with the law since. However, the fact that he has five children — who are U.S. citizens — or all that he has done with his life in the U.S. for the past 15 years is not necessarily being taken into consideration. Rather, the focus is on removal, something that would tear his family apart.

All criminal charges are serious for immigrants

While his case focuses on the drunk driving conviction, there are other charges, like those involving drugs or sex crimes, which usually lead to a denial for citizenship. Those living in the U.S. also face the possibility of removal.

With so much on the line, while it’s important for anyone to reach out to a criminal defense attorney when facing criminal charges, for immigrants in the U.S. this is a truly necessary step.

Mark A. Perez, Attorney at Law, is a Dallas-based law firm that focuses on not only criminal defense, but also immigration issues — and where the two intersect. It is important to have an attorney on your side who will listen to your side of the story and aggressively defend your rights.