Aggravated felonies are considered serious crimes, although they do not always involve physical violence. The consequences of such acts have severe penalties for immigrants in Texas who have been charged with crimes in this category.
Lawmakers classify crimes
Since the time of its inception in 1988, the list of aggravated felonies (AF) has grown to include crimes that are not violent such as “failure to appear.” While filing a fraudulent tax return may be considered a crime of moral turpitude, it is also an AF and subjects the immigrant offender to deportation. This type of conviction further precludes most forms of relief that non-citizens are afforded when defending themselves against deportation orders.
It should also be noted that the standards under which crimes are deemed aggravated felonies are higher under federal immigration laws than under their non-immigration counterparts. If an immigrant is found guilty of a misdemeanor, which later becomes classified as a felony, then that designation becomes applicable to his conviction, post-commission, and makes him eligible for removal.
No hope in the land of hope
Aggravated felonies have serious consequences for those who commit them. However, for the non-citizen, it could end his quest to permanently live and work in the US. Furthermore, depending upon the gravity of the crime, he may be deported without an immigration hearing if he is not a lawful permanent resident. If the non-citizen had hoped to apply for asylum before his conviction, that option will have been taken off the table. The fact that he may suffer persecution if he were returned to his country will no longer be a defense to allow him to remain in the US. The order of deportation cannot be canceled and he may be permanently barred from re-entering the country.
US immigration laws are particularly tough on those who commit aggravated felonies. In addition, it appears that the list of crimes that fall into this category is only getting longer.