A new ruling says immigration judges can now consider the mental health of noncitizen immigrants who are convicted of an aggravated felony when considering their asylum claim or deportation appeal. On May 9, Attorney General Merrick Garland used the example of a domestic violence victim who was convicted of assaulting their abuser as an example of an individual who is not a danger to the community, saying,
“In some circumstances, a respondent’s mental health condition may indicate that the respondent does not pose a danger to the community.
Of course, an individual may pose a danger to the community notwithstanding a mental health condition, and in those cases, the ‘particularly serious crime’ bar to asylum and withholding of removal may apply. But the potential relevance of mental health evidence to the dangerousness inquiry suffices to establish that such evidence should not categorically be disregarded, as GGS held.”
In 2014 the Department Of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review’s Board of Immigration Appeals ruled in a case known as GGS that, when judging the seriousness of a crime, “a person’s mental health is not a factor to be considered in a particularly serious crime analysis.” Garland’s decision overruled the 2014 decision.
The Immigration and Nationality Act says that undocumented immigrants are ineligible for both asylum and withholding of removal if they have been convicted of a “particularly serious crime” that constitutes a danger to the community.
Crimmigration is the practice of criminal defense law for immigrants and non-citizens by lawyers who understand the immigration consequences of criminal convictions. Non-citizens who face criminal charges also can have immigration penalties. Before the 1980s, citizens and non-citizens who were charged with a crime were punished the same, regardless of citizenship status. Today, immigrants and non-citizens who are facing a criminal charge can also lose their immigration status, including the loss of a Green Card or even deportation. Often, immigration criminal cases involve state agencies and a myriad of federal agencies such as ICE, CBP, USCIS, EOIR and the U.S. Attorney.
Don’t Let Criminal Charges End Your American Dream
Godoy Law Office’s experience in criminal law as a former assistant state’s attorney and dedication to immigration law gives us a distinct advantage that allows us to fight zealously on your behalf.
Small offenses can have serious, long-term consequences for non-citizens. Know your rights, and protect your rights. If you or a loved one are charged with a crime, call an experienced immigration legal team with specialized knowledge of both criminal and immigration law. Our attorneys at Godoy Law Office practice criminal defense and immigration law. Call us today at 630-912-0322.
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