Congressional Research Service Report on the Immigration Consequences of Criminal Activity

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) issued a report outlining the immigration consequences for aliens found guilty of criminal activity. Most crimes affecting immigration status are not specifically mentioned in the INA; rather, they fall within a broad category of crimes such as those involving moral turpitude or aggravated felonies. Certain criminal conduct may preclude a finding of good moral character, which is a requirement for naturalization and certain types of immigration relief. It may also affect eligibility for voluntary departure or discretionary relief from removal.

The report also surveys recent legislative proposals to expand the immigration consequences of criminal activity, including provisions in H.R. 4437 and S. 2611, which would expand the criminal grounds for inadmissibility, deportation, and denial of relief, and provisions in H.R. 6094 related to alien street gangs.