What Can Happen to an Undocumented Immigrant if Convicted of Domestic Violence
Unfortunately, domestic violence is a universal crime. Not only does it occur here in the United States, but it also affects people around the world. It doesn’t matter what class, age, or your background, you can be a victim of domestic abuse. This especially true when it comes to undocumented immigrants. Immigrant domestic violence occurs often and leaves the victims frightened and isolated. And what’s worse is these immigrants are afraid to come forward because they believe they may be deported for saying something. And so they take the abuse in silence.
What these undocumented immigrants don’t know, however, is they have the same rights and privileges as the rest of Americans. In 2013, President Obama had signed into law an expansion of the Violence Against Women Act which protects undocumented immigrant victims of domestic violence. This expansion allows undocumented immigrants to be granted a protection order and provides help for the victim in obtaining restraining order, regardless of their status in our country.
But what about the abusers? What will happen to them? If an undocumented immigrant is convicted of domestic violence, then according to the Immigration and Nationality Act, that abuser may be deported. The INA defines abuses as the following:
- An offense that either threatened, attempt to use or use physical force against another person or the person’s property
- Any felony offense that involves a substantial risk that physical force may be used against a person or the person’s property
If the offense does not meet these guidelines (for instance, the abuse was more mental than physical), there may be other ways the U.S. can deport an abuser. For instance, the offense can be considered a “crime of moral turpitude” or as an “aggravated felony.”
What’s most important to note is that if you are an undocumented immigrant who is being abused by your intimate partner or another family member, do not suffer in silence. Speak up and get the help you need now.
We can help. Contact our immigrant domestic violence lawyer at the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone today for a free consultation.