Judgment: Two DUIs Automatically Open The Door Of US Deportation | Univision Immigration News

The decision clarifies one of the main requirements that the immigration service demands for cases in which an undocumented immigrant faces deportation and requests the cancellation of the process for having more than 10 years in the country, is married to a resident or citizen and has children under 21 years old

The law allows in these cases the undocumented immigrant to request the judge, through Form 42B, to cancel the expulsion order and, instead, grant him permanent residence (green card), as long as he meets all three requirements indicated, in addition to having good moral character.

“Although this decision is very specific, which only affects the cases related to Form 42B, the decision establishes the presumption of not having good moral conduct in a period of 10 years, thus being able to affect the cases of residence and also of citizenship (naturalization) ”, warns Alex Gálvez, an immigration lawyer who practices in Los Angeles, California.


Scope of the failure

Galvez also says that, although “the decision specifically says that the analysis is only about 42B and not for normal permanent residence applications, it recommends that immigration officials apply a good analysis when they are awarding the green card (vrde card)” .

It is unknown for now if the ruling will affect or have an impact on other determinations of immigration benefits or decisions in immigration courts.

“What is clear is that having two DUIs during a period of 10 years required to be able to file a Form 42B and fight to remain legally in the United States will result in the presumption of not having a good moral character, and thereby losing the case, ”he adds.

Galvez warns that the DUI is one of the "five deadly sins" of the undocumented, and "an unforgivable offense for immigration authorities."

“The problem is that people realize how serious this problem is only when it falls into the hands of ICE (Immigration and Customs Office). They think that because it is a minor offense (Misdemeanor) it is not as serious as a felony, but they are wrong, ”he said.

The five deadly sins mentioned by Galvez are:

Domestic violence
 Possession of drugs for personal use

"All these crimes are on the list of misdemeanors, but deportable," he emphasizes.

“Supremely serious”

"Immigrants should know that driving drunk or under the influence of a drug is a supremely serious crime in the United States, not just for immigrants," says Rebeca Sánchez-Roig, a lawyer who practices in Miami, Florida, and that during 15 years served as Immigration Prosecutor.

“When I was a prosecutor, I had a case where an immigrant had seven and eight arrests for this crime, including the day his son was born. The government thinks that, if a person cannot be with his wife and child that night, it is a serious case where he also endangers the lives of third parties, ”he explains.

Sanchez-Roig comments that the DUI became one of the main causes of deportation in 2010, following the Martinelly Montaño case, a Bolivian undocumented man who was driving drunk and crashed a vehicle in which three religious traveled to the mass of the day Sunday in Prince William, Virginia. One of them, Denise Mossier, lost her life and the other two were seriously injured.

The Martinelly case gained national notoriety because it was not only drunk at the time of the accident, but had other infractions for the same crime, in addition to a pending deportation order. “The DUI is a deportable offense, a criminal crime,” warns Sánchez-Roig. "It's a deportation priority for the government."

The lawyers consulted by Univision News indicated that the EOIR ruling, endorsed by Attorney General William Barr, "is very likely" to be appealed in federal courts.

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