In this interview, Yakov Spektor shares how offenses, violations, crimes, or misdemeanors can affect both documented and undocumented immigrants with regard to deportation or removal.
Michael Levites 00:05
Good everybody. This is Michael Levites with immigration attorney, Yakov Spektor. Yakov is a participant attorney in JurisQ.com, a legal network where we answer your FAQs or frequently asked questions on law. Yakov, you’re a true professional in immigration field. Welcome back. Thank you for your time.
Yakov Spektor 00:27
Hi Michael. Hello, everyone.
Michael Levites 00:31
I want to talk about a very serious topic. A very dangerous topic. Deportations. Now they’re called removal proceedings. Right? This is a very scary thing.
Michael Levites 00:41
You live your life in America. You built your life here. Possibly even you’re married to a US citizen. You have your family here. And then the next day, at night, you have a knock on your door. Agents rush in. Handcuff you. Put you in the detention center. And off you go to another country, even though you possibly were in America your whole life.
Michael Levites 01:06
So I want to hear from you how to avoid it. Meaning, what conduct — what offenses should you stay away from that could make you subject to deportation?
Yakov Spektor 01:23
Michael, what you just described was pretty much a nightmare that anybody who is undocumented in this country goes through. And that nightmare is not going to be your situation, even if you’re undocumented here — at least at the time of me recording this video.
Yakov Spektor 01:42
We are in June of 2022. The government will not rush to your door. The agents will not arrest you unless you do have a criminal record. And strangely enough, of course, people with criminal records are usually the ones for the most blase about that whole situation.
Yakov Spektor 02:03
They usually call me when they are already in detention. When it might be too late, and there might not be a lot we can do about it.
Yakov Spektor 02:11
Now, if you’re one of the responsible viewers of this video — first of all, you probably do not have a criminal record. If you’re undocumented here, you want to talk to me and see what could be done about it.
Yakov Spektor 02:26
But if you do, because everybody makes mistakes. Face it, guys. It does happen. It happens to all of us. Now, if it is something that happened to you, even if you think it’s something very, very minor. Even if you think that it’s not a crime at all. Like, for example, marijuana offenses in a lot of states, they’re simply not an offense anymore. Yet, it’s a federal crime. You could get deported for it, even if you have a green card.
Yakov Spektor 02:59
So if there’s a bit of an arrest or a conviction on your record, talk to me. Maybe we could do something about it. Maybe I’ll give you some advice to ensure that no one will come in the middle of the night or the middle of the day and try to haul you off to immigration jail. Prevention is the best cure.
Michael Levites 03:24
That’s a good point. So, in general, what could make you subject to removal from this country? You mentioned criminal offenses. That’s the most important reason for a deportation, am I right?
Yakov Spektor 03:44
Correct. I would say at this point, yes. There’s just so many undocumented immigrants living in the United States — it’s impossible. The government is not going to come in and deport millions and millions of people.
Yakov Spektor 04:01
And not only that, the government oftentimes relies on these people to pick the crops, to serve you food, to prepare the food. And that’s the truth about immigration. We are not going to get into this right now, but I think that we discussed it during one of our videos.
Yakov Spektor 04:20
But if you have no criminal record, you probably will not be hauled off to immigration detention. But if you have a criminal record, yes. There is a good chance that the government will at least try to remove you even if you have a green card.
Yakov Spektor 04:36
Now which criminal record qualifies? Any kind of an arrest. Even a misdemeanor. Even if you didn’t do any time, this could be grounds to try and remove you. Now, you’ll want to talk to me.
Michael Levites 04:48
Wow. So even a misdemeanor, a violation, not just a felony, could possibly get you deported. It’s very scary. Very scary.
Yakov Spektor 04:58
Unfortunately, that’s the case. And now, of course, if you’ve got a ticket for jaywalking, you probably don’t have to worry about that too much. But if you’ve got a ticket for smoking marijuana in a federal park, that could be a problem. So it’s best not to decide on your own whether it’s going to be a problem or not. Find out.
Michael Levites 05:20
You know what, Yakov? You did a great job explaining the legal side. I’m not an attorney, but I want to give an advice that’s a general advice —common sense advice for those who are waiting to get their legal residence in the US.
Michael Levites 05:37
Stay away from bad people and bad places. You could be a perfectly good person, and you could be around some wrong people. You can get caught up in something. They might be arrested and arrest you just because you’re part of that group. So stay away from people that are risky. Stay away from places that are risky.
Michael Levites 06:02
If you know there’s a bar where sometimes fights happen, stay away from that bar. Right now you’re waiting for the most important decision of your life — whether or not to be granted status in America. Wait it out. And hopefully, Yakov Spektor, a great immigration attorney, is going to guide your hands all the way to your US passport.
Michael Levites 06:35
That is the goal. Stick to the goal. Have it in your mind, “I want to get that passport and I’ll do everything my power to get that passport.”
Yakov Spektor 06:44
Michael. I think this is the best advice that we heard in this video.
Michael Levites 06:48
No, you are the guide we go to for advice. We appreciate. And we’re going to have you again next time.
Michael Levites 06:54
Again, we’re giving here general advice, legal advice, and life advice. If you want specific consultation with an immigration attorney on your case, please call Yakov Spektor. The number is at the bottom of the screen. And Yakov will be more than happy to schedule a consultation to answer your questions and guide you through the process.
Michael Levites 07:18
Thank you so much, everybody. Thank you for tuning in, for listening, and for watching. Until next time. Take care, everyone.
Yakov Spektor 07:24
Thank you, everyone.
*This transcript has been edited for easier reading and understanding.
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