title What is Crimmigration Seek Legal Guidance From an Atlanta Deportation Lawyer

What Is Crimmigration? Seek Legal Guidance from an Atlanta Deportation Lawyer

Immigration Attorney Atlanta Jameel Manji author 1Author: Jameel Manji, Founder, Manji Law, P.C.

Mr. Manji founded Manji Law in 2016 to follow his passion of helping people navigate the complicated immigration system. Mr. Manji graduated from Georgia State University College of Law and received Master of Taxation from the Georgia State’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business. Published on: October 28, 2021.

Crimmigration is a branch of immigration law that deals with criminal charges and their consequences to an individual’s immigration status. Learn more here.

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Jameel Manji

Jameel Manji, Manji Law

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What Is Crimmigration?

Crimmigration is the intersection of two types of law: criminal defense and immigration.

Citizens and non-citizens were mainly treated the same for crimes until the 1980s, despite citizenship status. However, around 35 years ago, criminal and immigration laws started to collide. Therefore, a non-citizen facing criminal charges might face immigration consequences as well. In today’s modern political atmosphere, the attention and response to these concerns appear to be shifting all the time. As a result, it’s even more essential to get up-to-date legal advice in these areas.

By hiring a trustworthy Atlanta deportation lawyer, you will have legal assistance by your side and guidance that will walk you through the process of crimmigration defense.


Understanding Crimmigration


Crimmigration, or the blending of criminal law and immigration law, enables local law enforcement and, progressively, other government agencies to police both elements of the law, whether openly or implicitly. This sector’s practices and policies are increasingly resembling those used in interior enforcement, extending beyond border enforcement.

Local law enforcement also engages in these ostensibly covert activities, which are no longer entirely the duty of law enforcement officials. The extent of citizenship and the application of individual rights is continually decreasing due to this merge as Juliet Stumpf characterizes it as “a society increasingly stratified by flexible notions of membership” in The Crimmigration Crisis: Immigrants, Crime, and Sovereign Power. To untangle and change the links that bind these two systems, they must be viewed as part of a broader focus on exclusionary social-control ideology and actions directed towards immigrants and minorities alike.

History of Crimmigration Law

The term “crimmigration” law refers to the merging of two separate systems of law: criminal and immigration law and procedure. For most of the country’s history, they operated nearly entirely independently of one another. Prosecutors, a criminal defense attorney, and a state and federal judge who monitor criminal prosecutions daily were considered the jurisdiction of prosecutors, criminal defense attorneys, and state and federal judges.

Immigration law, on the other hand, was restricted to immigration courts within the senior leadership branch of the federal government, staffed by immigration lawyers, judges, and prosecutors hired for many years by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Get legal help from a criminal immigration lawyer as soon as possible if you are dealing with criminal charges that might affect your immigration status. At Manji Law P.C., our immigration attorneys can help you with your immigration legal rights and criminal defense if such is the case. We believe that a solid attorney-client relationship is essential to prevail in any court, and as such, we encourage you to schedule your initial consultation at 678.902.2999!

How Immigration Policy Became ‘Crimmigration’

Americans have gotten used to hearing about undocumented immigrants’ arrests, detentions, and deportations. These stories now dominate every debate of immigration policy in the United States, from border protection to immigration reform.

Americans may be shocked to learn, however, that this wasn’t always the case. According to César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández, an Ohio State University law professor, the criminalization of crossing the U.S.-Mexico border and immigration detention were more the exception than the rule until the 1990s and are at risk with the country’s history.

Initially, immigration issues were seen as civil affairs and addressed through the immigration court system, whereas criminal cases were handled by prosecutors, defense counsel, and state and municipal judges. This difference has undoubtedly become a historical remnant.

Previously, the administration avoided utilizing detention unless in exceptional cases or along the Mexican border. In Fiscal Year 2011, however, over 429,000 individuals were held for immigration procedures. Immigration law is increasingly looking at a migrant’s criminal background when deciding whether or not to detain or deport them.

The nature of our immigration system gives itself to the appearance of fairness in a variety of ways. “Despite the fact that they are referred to as ‘courts’ and ‘judges,’ profound neither the immigration courts nor the immigration judges who preside over hearings are members of the judicial branch,” he adds. However, they are Justice Department trials overseen by Justice Department personnel and coming under the executive branch’s jurisdiction.

How Criminal Defense and Immigration Law Intersect

The intersection between criminal law and immigration status typically happens because non-citizens convicted of crimes face serious immigration implications. These punishments are in addition to any fines, or prison term the court may impose.

Although the criminal justice system distinguishes felonies, misdemeanors, and other minor offenses for citizens, the distinction is less evident for non-citizens. Even a small criminal offense like stealing can lead to forced removal proceedings, the official term for deportation.


Issues at the Intersection of Criminal Law and Immigration

The interaction between courts, immigration cases, and law enforcement has shifted dramatically due to crimmigration. Counsel and judges dissect principles and concerns relating to immigration law about nonmembers in the criminal justice system. 

The confluence of criminal law and immigration law, a dynamic and expanding subject of law, has substantial and far-reaching implications for immigration enforcement and the employment of the deportation proceedings system as a tool of crime control. 

The Crimmigration Crisis

The influence of membership theory on the convergence of both immigration and criminal law appears to be leading to a downward spiral of nonmember safeguards and a considerable narrowing of the concept of who is a member.

Due to the considerable overlap between criminal and immigration legislation, decision-makers will unavoidably interpret the implications of exclusion from membership in each area differently. Aliens are becoming associated with criminals as serious repercussions for immigration-related activity, and criminal grounds for removal from the United States continue to increase.


Impact of Criminal Charges on Immigration Status

Criminal charges can severely impact one’s immigration status in the U.S., often resulting in detention, deportation, or exclusion from entry. Various offenses, categorized under terms like ‘crimes of moral turpitude’ or ‘aggravated felonies’, can trigger such consequences. Even misdemeanors might affect immigration proceedings, complicating residency applications or naturalization processes. Statistically, over 95% of removals for criminal reasons from 1997 to 2012 involved noncitizens who had committed relatively minor offenses, highlighting the strict enforcement of these laws.

Ex-offenders have become associated with foreigners as collateral consequences for criminal breaches continue to attack citizenship and community involvement characteristics.

Expulsion becomes a logical remedy when non-citizens are labeled as offenders. The individual’s interest in the U.S. community, such as familial relationships, job, community service, and whether the nonresident alien has lived in the U.S. for the bulk of his life, becomes subordinate to the perceived need to safeguard the community. When criminals become foreigners, the sovereign state becomes essential in policing the country against this inside opponent.

Though criminal law and immigration law begin with opposing assumptions about the immigration status of the persons they govern, the results are remarkably similar in both spheres if the individual is found unfit for membership.

The state regards the person as an alien, robbing them of the rights and advantages of membership. This results in an ever-increasing population of outsiders interested in the United States that may be at least as great as that of current members. As a result, society is becoming increasingly stratified by flexible notions of membership, with nonmembers being driven out of the group through borders, fences, regulations, and public condemnation.


Deconstructing Crimmigration

Crimmigration legislation and policy, which was born out of the racially biased anti-drug hysteria of the 1980s and has been blown by the winds of every crime involving moral turpitude since then, reacts to fear with the state’s heavy-handed security machinery. It repeats well-known but problematic power inequalities based on race, class, and gender axes, all of which are obscured by the monster of crime.

Contact our law firm right away if you want to learn more about potential immigration consequences if you were charged with a criminal offense. A good lawyer will always defend your rights when you are in a vulnerable position, but it’s always best to choose a lawyer who is specifically experienced in criminal immigration law.

If you wish to become a lawful permanent resident of the U.S., an immigration lawyer will help you with all immigration matters and brief you about crimmigration. No matter your immigration goals or criminal background, the legal team at the Manji Law P.C. law firm is here to help! Schedule your consultation at 678.902.2999 today, and let us take a look at your case.

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