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Under President Obama’s new executive action concerning immigration the Government will change the way they select immigrants to deport. This new regulation will separate immigrants into three priority groups for deportation based on categories such as threats to nation’s safety, criminal convictions and unlawful presence in the United States. The three priority levels are as follows:
Priority 1 – Immigrants who threaten national security, public safety and border security.
This group includes those who are the highest priority for deportation because of their actions or criminal activity.
[li]Immigrants who pose a threat to national security by being suspected of terrorism or espionage.[/li][li]Immigrants that are caught trying to unlawfully enter the United States[/li][li]Immigrants who are convicted of a crime while a member of a gang, or those over the age of 16 who are actively involved in a gang.[/li][li]Immigrants convicted of a felony, unless the non-federal crime in question is based on the immigrant’s immigration status.[/li][li]Immigrants convicted of an “aggravated felony” as defined by the Immigration and Nationality Act.[/li]
Priority 2 – Immigrants convicted of misdemeanors and new immigration violators.
[li]Immigrants convicted of three or more misdemeanors. These do not include minor traffic offenses or non-federal crimes based on the immigrant’s immigration status.[/li][li]Immigrants convicted of a “significant misdemeanor” which can include: Domestic violence, Sexual abuse or exploitation, Burglary, Unlawful possession or use of a firearm, Drug distribution or trafficking, Driving under the influence (DUI), Any crime which a person was jailed for 90 days or more[/li][li]Immigrants caught anywhere in the United States illegally, who cannot prove that they have been continuously present in the United States since January 1, 2014.[/li][li]Immigrants who ICE or USCIS feel have significantly abused the visa or visa waiver programs.[/li]
Priority 3 – Other Immigration Violations.
[li]Immigrants who have been issued a final order of removal on or after January 1, 2014.[/li]
This new policy also allows government officials to exercise prosecutorial discretion on their decision to apprehend, arrest, prosecute or deport immigrants. They may use many factors in making their decisions including:
[li]Extenuating circumstances involving in a crime for which an immigrant has been convicted.[/li][li]Extended length of time since a conviction.[/li][li]Length of time in the United States.[/li][li]Military service[/li][li]Family or community ties in the United States[/li][li]Status as a victim, witness or plaintiff in civil or criminal proceedings.[/li][li]Compelling humanitarian factors such as poor health, age, pregnancy, a young child, or a serious ill relative.[/li]
If you feel that you might be in one the priority groups for deportation or you may be a good candidate for prosecutorial discretion you should contact our office today. David E. Walters is a Nevada and California Licensed Attorney with years of immigration law experience. He will be able to give you the best legal advice for your situation and fight for your rights!