Can a permanent resident be deported for a crime of domestic violence?

In my column This week's Consulta Migratoria® answers a question from a reader who wants to know if her permanent resident son can be deported for committing a crime of domestic violence.

Each immigration case is different. Please consult with an immigration attorney for personalized legal advice before beginning any proceedings.

This is the column:

My son is a permanent resident. He violated a domestic violence restraining order and was arrested as a felony. My son was incarcerated for 21 days and was released on probation for 1 year and must do 26 hours of school. Has my son lost his permanent residency? Maria V.

Maria, your son's criminal record should be reviewed to determine the immigration consequences of being found guilty of a felony or domestic violence felony.

There are several reasons why an alien may be deported from the United States, including the following:

* Has been convicted of a crime of moral turpitude within the first 5 to 10 years after being admitted to the country and received a sentence of one year or more.

* Has been convicted of two or more crimes of moral turpitude after being admitted to the United States.

* You have been convicted of an aggravated felony after being admitted to the country.

* Has been convicted of domestic violence, stalking, child abuse, child neglect or abandonment of children after admission to the United States.

* You have violated a protection order that is intended to stop credible threats of violence, harassment or bodily harm.

Under certain circumstances, an alien may be able to apply for a waiver which, when granted by the federal government, may stop his or her deportation.

It is very important that all foreign nationals maintain excellent moral character and never plead guilty to a crime without first consulting with an immigration attorney, as certain crimes are deportable.

Maria, your son should consult with an immigration attorney as soon as possible to determine his legal options. In the meantime, he should remain on his best behavior and not leave the United States.