POTENTIAL ISSUES PRE-RETENTIONS: “Mortgage-Fraud” California Statute: Crime of Moral Turpitude or Not? Deportable Offense or Not?
APPLICANT / BENEFICIARY: Filipino
The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) at section 237 allows the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), through the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to deport someone who has committed a crime involving moral turpitude, commonly referred to as a CIMT, if the conviction occurred within five (5) years after admission and the conviction was for a crime for which a sentence of one year or longer may be imposed.
Our client’s green card was about to expire, and she wanted to apply for an extension, but she was hesitant due to a criminal conviction she had. She was convicted under California law for what her attorney termed as “mortgage fraud”.
Our firm did research on the specific California statute and analyzed it under Crime of Moral Turpitude immigration law. We explained that a line of cases view convictions under any statute related to fraud as a CIMT, which can potentially make her deportable. We also found that some “fraud-like” statutes are not actually fraud, but could be classified as “regulatory violations”, which are not CIMTs. If the CIS deems her conviction as a CIMT, not only will the green card extension be denied, she also would be deportable.
After extensive research and analysis, our firm found that we had a very argument in classifying her conviction as a regulatory violation and not fraud, and thus she does not have a CIMT. We filed the I-90 extension in July 22, 2010. Our client was fingerprinted and a background check was conducted for her. Upon review of her case, the CIS deemed that she indeed does not have a CIMT and is not deportable. Her I-90 was approved on September 20, 2010 and her green card was extended for ten years.
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