The path to U.S. permanent residency or citizenship can be a difficult one. From the time immigrants arrive in Miami, they essentially begin what could be viewed as a “trial period” during which they are expected to demonstrate a willingness to obey their new country’s laws and statutes. Yet those working for permanent residency are only human and, like many, are subject to moments of poor judgment. Yet for them, their mistakes could very easily impede their progress to permanent residency and possibly get them deported to their countries of origin.
This was the scenario recently facing a Wisconsin man who’s future in the United States was put in doubt after he was arrested in 2012 by U.S. Immigrations & Customs Enforcement and faced deportation due to his multiple convictions for marijuana possession almost 16 years ago. His attorney argued that since he wasn’t advised at the time that his no contest pleas could threaten his U.S. residency status, his convictions should be thrown out. The judge hearing the case ultimately agreed, throwing out the man’s convictions, clearing the way for him to remain in the U.S. with his fiancée and to hopefully be granted permanent residency.
Many immigrants hoping to make the U.S. their permanent home would likely never do anything to jeopardize that goal. Yet often they’re unaware of how some of their actions and decisions could reflect badly on them during the naturalization process. To help ensure them of avoiding such missteps, they may wish to consult with an immigration attorney.
Source: Isthmus “‘I’m officially a free man’” Judith Davidoff, Jan. 16, 2014