Immigrants across South Carolina and the nation who have criminal convictions may find that they have fewer avenues through which to fight deportation now that two new rulings have taken effect. At Kappel Law, we understand that the new rulings may have far-reaching effects for many immigrants and their families, and we have helped many immigrants facing threats of deportation work to defend themselves with the intent of staying in the United States. 

According to NBC News, the U.S. attorney general quietly issued two new decisions in late October that make it far more difficult for immigrants with certain criminal convictions to fight deportation. Immigrants with old criminal convictions are among those who the new rulings may affect, and immigrants with multiple drinking and driving convictions are as well. 

Often, immigration officials make decisions regarding deportation based on whether an immigrant has what they consider to be “good moral character.” The new ruling relating to drinking and driving dictates that an immigrant who has two or more convictions for drunk driving does not, in fact, have good moral character. This makes it decidedly more difficult for them to request and receive a cancellation of a deportation order. 

The other new ruling limits the ability of state courts to have a say in the federal deportation process by adjusting less-serious criminal sentences. Many states have modified the criminal sentences of immigrants for years so that low-level crimes would not necessarily lead to deportation, but the new ruling means that states no longer retain the power to do so. Find more about criminal defense for immigrants by visiting our webpage.