Atlanta Immigration Attorney

Several years ago, few offenses resulted in deportation, today, the U.S. government is taking a stricter stance against illegal immigrants. In America, citizens who are convicted of various crimes get to remain in their country, but for non-citizens, a criminal charge can result in a visit to immigration court. If such is the case for you, Atlanta criminal lawyer Judy Kim can represent your case before the judge.

Crimes of “moral turpitude”- drug crimes, DUI, assault, theft, weapons charges and so forth – can result in deportation. Furthermore, the Department of Homeland Security could say that you do not deserve immigrant privileges if you get a mark on your criminal record. Even legal aliens can get deported if they are convicted of an aggravated felony (murder, rape, child sex crimes, or aggravated theft or fraud crimes).

Why does moral turpitude matter?

Throughout the U.S., communities have established set ways of behaving, and many of these beliefs have since been defined by local laws; some, in fact, have even been regulated by federal law. Crimes of moral turpitude specifically relate to conduct that is interpreted as contradictory to the community standards that have been set forth for its members. A violation of the justice, honesty, or moral behavior that is expected of community members is recognized as an act of moral turpitude and punished as such. This type of criminal offense has also been identified as an act of baseness and / or vileness that is displayed by a person’s depravity, thus resulting in a lack of the private and social duties that are expected of each societal member of a community. Even behaviors that contradict the accepted norms or customary rules associated among fellow members of a society can be penalized as acts of moral turpitude.

Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, a conviction of a crime of moral turpitude causes a person to be inadmissible to the United States. The first question that a visitor must answer on an I-94W form is, “Have you ever been arrested or convicted for an offense or crime involving moral turpitude or a violation related to a controlled substance; or been arrested or convicted for two or more offenses for which the aggregate sentence to confinement was five years or more; or been a controlled substance trafficker; or are you seeking entry to engage in criminal or immoral activities?” The most common elements involving moral turpitude are fraud, larceny and intent to harm persons or property. Crimes that could involve moral turpitude include:

  • Arson
  • Blackmail
  • Burglary
  • Embezzlement
  • Extortion
  • Fraud
  • Destruction of property
  • Perjury
  • Tax evasion
  • Black market violations
  • Assault- with intent to kill, commit rape, commit robbery, commit serious bodily harm, or assault with a dangerous weapon
  • Gross indecency
  • Kidnapping
  • Manslaughter
  • Murder
  • Drug trafficking
  • Prostitution

There are also crimes involving moral turpitude which include an attempt to commit a crime involving moral turpitude, aiding and abetting the commission of a crime involving moral turpitude, being an accessory in the commission of a crime involving moral turpitude and taking part in a conspiracy to commit a crime involving moral turpitude.

Crimes that do not involve moral turpitude include simple assault, incest, involuntary manslaughter, libel, mailing an obscene letter, rioting, and violations of the Mann Act (involving interstate transport of females for “immoral purposes,”- as long as coercion wasn’t present).

In the event of a more serious crime, if intent can be shown, this normally results in an aggravated felony conviction. Other than possession of marijuana for personal use, almost all drug crimes are deportable offenses.

Why should you hire an attorney?

If you are a noncitizen who has been charged with a crime, you could face devastating consequences such as hefty fines, prison time and deportation. Exclusion, loss of a visa or green card status and denial of United States citizenship are not penalties you should just succumb too, however.

By securing a competent criminal defense attorney on your side, you can fight to avoid jail time and deportation. In the words of one legal expert, “Non-citizens always require an extra careful criminal defense strategy because the stakes are so high. A good lawyer won’t let you plead guilty to a crime that could later get you deported from the United States.” Contact Attorney Judy Kim today to get the aggressive legal representation you deserve on your side!

Immigration Fraud Attorney in Atlanta

The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 governs the majority of U.S. immigration law. It states that an immigrant who produces “intentionally” incorrect documentation can be denied immigration, have immigration benefits taken away and face criminal and civil penalties.

There are two kinds of immigration fraud: document fraud and benefit application fraud. Document fraud is the “forging, producing, or changing documents to satisfy an immigration requirement.” Document fraud can also include “…obtaining genuine identity documents through fraudulent means.” Benefit fraud includes marriage fraud or applying for government benefits only eligible for U.S. citizens.

According to one immigration expert, “Communities of non-English speaking people are always at a higher risk of being targets of scams. Victims of immigration services scams face a huge loss of time and money and many increase their risk of being detained or deported by U.S. officials.”

According to the General Accounting Office (GAO), immigration benefit fraud alone is, “pervasive and significant and will increase as smugglers and other criminal enterprises use fraud as another means of bringing illegal aliens, including criminal aliens, into the country.”

Examples of Immigration Fraud

Scammers take advantage of immigrants by forging, counterfeiting, altering or falsifying visas, permits, border crossing cards, social security cards, birth certificates, passports, alien registration receipt cards, etc. Under §274A(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, an individual can face heavy fines and up to 5 years in prison if:

  • He/she knowingly possessed an identification document that was not lawfully issued
  • He/she knowingly possessed a document that was false
  • He/she knowingly possessed a document with a false attestation

Besides supplying false documents or providing misleading information, immigration fraud can also include assisting someone to come into the United States and misleading them about the type of work they will be doing.

According to, “…many providers will claim that they are accredited by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to appear before the Board of Immigration Appeals (Board) or the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). In many instances, these immigration providers either are not accredited, or are charging a premium fee for services for which a USCIS-accredited provider is not needed.” In summary, immigration fraud can include any of the following offenses:

  • Establishing a commercial enterprise for the purpose of evading immigration laws
  • Marriage for the purpose of evading immigration laws
  • Illegal entry
  • Passport and visa violations
  • Making or using a false passport
  • Forging, counterfeiting, altering or falsely making immigration documents, or their use, possession or receipt
  • Misuse of citizenship papers
  • Impersonation in a naturalization proceeding
  • Unlawful procurement of citizenship
  • Falsification of naturalization papers
  • Unlawful sale of citizenship papers
  • Making a false claim of citizenship to obtain federal or state benefits

Penalties for Immigration Fraud

Besides paying a hefty fine and facing state or federal imprisonment, because immigration fraud is often considered “a crime of moral turpitude,” an illegal immigrant can face deportation and loss of residency. If you are charged with benefit fraud, you could be denied later applications for citizenship or be barred from entering the United States for a duration of time. Avoiding conviction, and hence the penalties that go along with it, is best made possible under the representation of an experienced Atlanta criminal lawyer.

Were you a victim of immigration fraud?

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security all handle immigration issues. The office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement in particular is responsible for investigating and monitoring people and goods moving in and out of the United States.

While often an individual knows that they are committing immigration fraud, at other times they are the victims of lies and ignorance. When you are the victim of immigration fraud, not only is it humiliating, aggravating and violating- on top of that, you can face hefty fines and imprisonment. When another person’s criminal actions have wronged you, secure criminal defense on your side. Or, if you unknowingly broke immigration laws, you are also a victim and need legal representation.

Because U.S. immigration laws are so complex and change annually, it can be easy for an individual to cross the border and unintentionally commit a federal immigration crime. If you have an overstayed visa, have crossed a border where there was no border control or used falsified documents to obtain work or residency, you should secure legal help immediately.

Whether you are an American citizen or a visiting national, if you are being investigated for immigration fraud, you should contact Attorney Judy Kim today to get the counsel and protection you desperately need. You don’t have to live in fear and helplessness any longer. Call today to secure the strong defense you deserve on your side!