The criminal justice system in the United States is intended to deter individuals from engaging in dangerous and socially detrimental behavior and to punish those who do break the law. When a citizen of the country breaks a criminal law, they may be subject to trial and punishment based on what they allegedly did. States like Kentucky have criminal laws on their books; federal criminal laws also exist.
Punishment for a citizen may mean a fine, jail time, or another serious sanction. However, when a noncitizen or individual holding a visa or green card allegedly commits a crime and is convicted, they can face deportation and removal. Depending on their alleged crime, they can face removal from the United States and serious penalties if they try to return.
For immigration purposes, some crimes are considered aggravated felonies even if they are not considered felonies when committed by citizens of the United States. They may include violent crimes like murder, but may also include theft, failing to appear in court, and tax fraud. Crimes of moral turpitude may also result in deportation and removal of noncitizens.
Individuals who have legal permanent status in the United States may not be safe from deportation and removal if they are convicted of crimes. If they are not deported, they may be forever denied the chance of becoming a naturalized citizen and may be subject to other penalties. As readers can see, criminal convictions can be detrimental to immigrants in the United States. Those who fear criminal allegations may threaten their lives should contact immigration attorneys in their communities.