During the past few years, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (the “USCIS”) and the Department of Homeland Security have adopted new technologies for Green cards and other forms of identification in order to track the travel of permanent residents and other non-citizens.
They have also increased and facilitated the amount of information exchanged between their divisions and those of law enforcement to apprehend individuals who might be wanted for indictment or conviction of serious crimes.
Given this atmosphere, it is more important than ever for permanent residents and those seeking permanent resident or other legal status not to risk travel outside of the U.S. if they are subject to possible indictment or conviction, even if there are grounds to defend any charges or overturn a conviction.
When a permanent resident or person seeking legal status attempts to re-enter the U.S. while subject to a conviction or potential admission to a crime, they can be excluded at the borders by law enforcement.
Grounds for prohibiting their re-entry include:
- conviction or admission of a crime involving fraud, theft, dishonesty, sexual assault, violence or other forms of “moral turpitude;”
- conviction or admission of a crime relating to controlled substances; or
- conviction of multiple crimes of any kind.
Thus, if you are a permanent resident or other person seeking legal status in the U.S. and are subject to any kind of warrant or court proceeding, it would be wise to check with legal counsel before traveling outside of the country, especially if your family is here.
If you are a permanent resident or someone seeking legal status in the U.S. and you have questions about your legal rights, including but not limited to your right to travel, you are welcome to call our offices at (847) 564-0712. Feel free also to check out the pertinent section of our Website regarding representation of individuals and their families.