The laws regarding immigration can be complex and confusing for all parties involved. With constant reforms to the requirements and regulations regarding employment visas, the naturalization process, and political asylum, it should come as no surprise that immigrants — legal and otherwise — become overwhelmed by immigration laws and the citizenship system. The United States immigration system can be overwhelming and hold severe consequences if one form is missing or one deadline is missed. For these reasons, it is important not to try to handle it alone! Whether you are applying for a visa, a green card, naturalization, or citizenship, hire an experienced immigration attorney to be on your side and help you to navigate the system.
Colorado Immigration Lawyer
According to the Census Bureau, there are nearly 450,000 immigrants, including an estimated 150,000 illegal aliens, who call Colorado home. Focusing on those affected by immigration law, the team at the Law Office of Warren D. Price offers assistance to immigrants and their families in a variety of ways. Both legal and undocumented immigrants rely on immigration lawyers from Murphy & Price, LLP for representation with family immigration, visa applications, removal defense, naturalization process, and refugee and asylum case. Though navigating the intricate web of challenges of immigration law can be daunting and time-consuming, our law firm provides advocacy to immigrants and all that it entails. Our team can help to ensure that all of the required forms are filled out accurately and filed in the correct place.
Immigration and Criminal Attorney
Immigrants face a variety of legal proceedings, including processing citizenship applications and asylum applications, as well as criminal proceedings. Here are some of the defenses that the immigration legal team provides at Murphy & Price, LLP.
Deportation or removal proceedings –
Deportation or removal proceedings can be initiated in a variety of ways. Whether it’s the result of being caught entering the country, the expiration of a visa, or revocation of citizenship due to criminal offences, the notification may seem ominous. Whether you are face to face with an Immigration Officer or you receive a letter of notice to appear, you may be wondering what will happen next: are they going to deport me now? Can I speak to a judge? Fortunately, immigrants do have rights in the legal system, and you can hire an immigration attorney to help you navigate the process. When you have been threatened for removal, or are already in the deportation process, contact the law office of Murphy & Price, LLP for an experienced immigration consultant.
Visa and citizenship applications –
Immigrants live and work in the United States under different premises — illegally, on a visa, or as a naturalized citizen — regardless of the status, there are legal forms and hearings that may be necessary to allow the immigrant to continue working and living in the US. Whether you need to apply for or renew an education or work visa, you are applying for a green card for yourself or a family member, get the legal representation you deserve to help you and your family have the best outcomes.
Naturalization or citizenship applications-
Applying for citizenship or naturalization (https://www.uscitizenship.info/articles/index.html%3Fp=5439.html) in the United States is a long, complicated process. However, once granted, citizenship allows you to live in the United States and affords you the rights and privileges of a natural born citizen. Although you can navigate the naturalization process on your own, having the experience and knowledge of an immigration attorney on your side will help to ensure that you have met all of the requirements, on time.
Refugee and asylum cases-
The United States grants special status to those who flee their home country out of fear of persecution. If you are currently not in the United States, you may apply for refugee status and be permitted to enter under humanitarian conditions. Asylum is for those who are already in the United States or seek admission at the port of entry. To be granted asylum or refugee status and protection, there are certain requirements that must be met (https://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/refugees-asylum/refugees). For help finding the refuge you and your family need, you need an immigration lawyer to help you handle your case.
At Murphy & Price, LLP we know that each case is as unique as the immigrant involved. We are experienced at helping those in a variety of situations and circumstances. Whether you have been living in the United States, legally, most of your life or you have recently immigrated and are facing deportation, we provide superior immigration legal services indiscriminately. Contact us today for your consultation.
Criminal Immigration Attorney
Whether intentional or not, breaking the immigration laws of the United States often results in stiff penalties. Furthermore, immigrants residing in the US that break the law in other ways face harsh consequences as the government is authorized to take several actions, should you be convicted of a crime during your stay here.
Backed by years of experience in criminal law in Colorado, our immigration attorneys have acted as representation for immigrant clients that have been charged with:
- DUI and drunk driving
- Drug crimes
- Traffic violations
- Theft, embezzlement, or money laundering
- Harboring a known criminal
- Employment violations
Deportation of Legal US Residents
When an immigrant resides in the United States as a legal resident, they are expected to follow the same rules and laws as any other citizen. If those laws are broken, the resident may be subject to deportation. If you are in the United States on a nonimmigrant visa or a green card, grounds for removal include:
- Was inadmissible at the time of entry or violates terms of visa or green card.
- Held a conditional resident status and the status is terminated.
- Before, during, or within five years of entry, helped smuggle any other alien attempting to enter the US.
- Committed marriage fraud.
- Is convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude .
- Is convicted of an aggravated felony any time after admission.
- Flees an immigration checkpoint.
- Fails to register as a sex offender.
- Convicted of a drug crime in any country or has been a drug abuser or addict after admission to the US.
- Convicted of illegal weapons transactions.
- Convicted of committing or inspiring to commit espionage, sabotage, treason, or sedition.
- Violates the Military Selective Service Act of the Trading With the Enemy Act.
- Violates travel or documentation restrictions for immoral purposes.
- Is convicted of domestic violence, stalking, child abuse, child neglect, or child abandonment.
- Violates protective orders.
- Has committed or conspired to commit, has known about, aided, or profited from human trafficking inside or outside the U.S.
- Failed to inform immigration authorities of a change of address.
- Convicted of providing false information to immigrations or misuse or fraud of immigration documents.
- Falsely represents oneself as a U.S. citizen to take advantage of benefits.
- Engages in criminal activity that poses a danger to public safety or national security.
- Engages in or appears to have engaged in terrorist activity or is a member of a terrorist organization.
- Presence in the U.S. would create serious adverse foreign policy consequences.
- Participated in genocide, torture, or extrajudicial killings, severe violations of religious freedom, or recruitment or use of child soldiers.
- Within five years of entry becomes dependent on government assistance.
If you are arrested for, charged with, or convicted of any of the above crimes and immigration authorities determine that you are deportable, you will not be forcibly removed from the country immediately —you will have the opportunity to appeal the deportation notice and the charges. For some deportation notices, you may qualify for a waiver (legal forgiveness). Do not face the charges or the consequences alone. Hire an experienced immigrations and criminal attorney in Colorado Springs.
Crimes of Moral Turpitude —Immigration
Moral turpitude is a term that anyone who wants to maintain a lawful residence or gain naturalization but has run-ins with the law should be aware of. One of the requirements for obtaining citizenship is showing “good moral character,” which is, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigrations Services means “measures up to the standards of the average citizen.” Crimes of moral turpitude (CMT) are those that are inherently base, vile, depraved, or contrary to general morality. Dishonesty, theft, or acts that have an evil intent are considered crimes of moral turpitude and do not display the good moral character required for citizenship. Examples of CMT include the most violent crimes such as murder, manslaughter, rape, abuse, incest, kidnapping, robbery, assault, mayhem, animal fighting, theft, and fraud.
If you are convicted of a CMT within five years of being admitted to the U.S. and the crime’s sentence exceeds one year of incarceration or you are convicted of two CMTs any time after admission to the U.S, you will likely also be facing deportation. Whether or not a crime is considered a CMT is at the discretion of the courts. Do not face these charges alone or leave your fate to a public defender. Hire an experienced crime of moral turpitude immigration lawyer to conduct an analysis of the supposed crime and help negotiate charges and sentencing.
If you have done something to exclude yourself from being able to apply for or renew your visa or green card, not all hope of obtaining naturalization is lost. An immigration waiver is a legal pardon for a specific immigration law violation —you were deported, you overstayed your visa, or you were charged with a crime. If you have violated an immigration law and are facing deportation, contact an immigration attorney to help determine if you are eligible for a waiver. The specific waivers are:
Waiver after prior removal-
applies to those aliens who have been removed from the United States and are applying for readmission before the mandatory wait time. For instance, if you have been deported and are ineligible for reentry within two years and are seeking reentry one year into the wait period. If you can show that you have good intentions and good reason —employment, dependent family, asylum— you may be granted a waiver for the waiting period.
Waiver of unlawful presence-
applies to those who are applying for a visa but have been barred for being in the U.S. unlawfully. If you have been in the U.S. illegally for more than 180 days, there is a three year bar and if you have been here more than a year there is a ten year bar. This particular waiver will grant permission to waive the bar if you are a spouse or parent of a legal resident and the denial of your visa would cause a hardship to your family.
Waiver for crimes more than 15 years old-
is available to immigrants who were convicted of a crime more than 15 years ago and can prove that they have not recommitted, have been rehabilitated, and are not a threat to the safety or welfare of others. If this applies to you and you have been living, legally, in the U.S. for more than seven years and have not committed an aggravated felony, you may be eligible for this waiver.
Waiver of crimes of moral turpitude-
is available for those who are applying for or renewing a visa, adjustment of status, or are in removal proceedings. If you have been convicted of a crime of moral turpitude (CMT) that is the grounds for deportation, you can challenge the deportation and dispute the CMT label. If you have not had any other convictions and the charges were not malicious in nature you may be granted a waiver.
Waiver of possession of marijuana-
is available to immigrants who are convicted of marijuana possession of less than 30 grams and is not connected to any other crime or charges, in a location where marijuana is legal. Possession of marijuana is against federal law and immigration law and, therefore, may be grounds for deportation. However, if you live in a state where marijuana is legal and you have not also been charged with a CMT, you may be granted a waiver.
General waiver for nonimmigrants.
are available to those who have been found inadmissible but wish to visit the United States. A waiver may be granted a waiver if they can provide a good reason for their visit and it will not be detrimental to the safety or welfare of citizens.
If you are applying for a visa or are already in the removal proceeding process, you’ll need the expert consultation of an immigration lawyer in obtaining an immigration waiver. Contact the experienced immigration attorneys at Murphy & Price, LLP for all your immigration legal service needs!
A Brief History of Immigration Law
In 1819, Congress enacted the nation’s first significant immigration legislation and in 1864 immigration policy became under federal control rather than left up to each state. In 1882 the Chinese Exclusion Act was established to prevent the entry of Chinese. By the late 1880s prostitutes, convicts, and those who were likely to become public charges (dependent on public assistance) were denied entry and provisions for expulsion were adopted. In 1891, the Bureau of Immigrations was established and administered all immigration policy.
The early 1900s brought millions of immigrants to the United States in search of new opportunities. Immigration laws were updated to quantify the number of immigrants permitted entry into the U.S. During this time political radicals, polygamists, psychopaths, illiterates, alcoholics, and those who could not speak English were denied entry. In the height of the World Wars, less than a half million foreigners migrated to the United States.
The 1950s saw a new, dramatic increase in immigration and in 1952, Congress set up the basic structure of our legal immigration policy. These laws established a set number of immigrants who would be granted legal status and the emphasis was placed on allowing a family to sponsor foreign family members, employers to sponsor skilled workers, and providing asylum for political refugees. In 1986, after decades of growing public concerns, immigration laws began to change with the implementation of making it illegal for employers to hire illegal aliens and gave amnesty to more than three million illegal aliens. Generally speaking, the 1990s was a period of a decline in efforts to control immigration. A number of fences and patrolled areas were controlling some immigration from the south, but the borders were not “closed.”
In 2001, as a result of the terrorist attacks of 9/11, immigration laws changed dramatically. Driver’s licensing and financial account requirements changed along with enforcement of employment verification processes. Because nearly 40 percent of illegal immigrants are estimated to have been in the U.S. legally, on a visa or green card that lapsed, laws regarding documentation and citizenship were bolstered. Both Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had a dramatic rise in funding and employees to help enforce immigration laws at the border and with residents. Local immigration laws changed to include harsher punishments, including deportation, for immigrants involved in criminal activity.
What do the changes in immigration law mean for immigrants?
The changes to immigration law have been established in reaction to world events and the current U.S. status and change as the times change. Immigration laws are intended to mitigate threats of terrorism and to reduce illegal activity in general. This means that for immigrants whose intentions are for the good, requests for residency are likely to be granted —as long as all the steps of the process are followed and the candidate proves to be decent. This is why facing immigration law challenges should not be done alone. The simple status of alien or immigrant puts you at a disadvantage —you need an experienced immigration attorney on your side to present your case and defend your right to be a U.S. resident. Call the Law Office of Murphy & Price, LLP for your immigration legal services consultation today.