Why Helping Smuggle a Relative Across U.S. Border Can Get You Deported or Denied a Green Card

Are You Facing Deportation Because You Helped Someone Enter the United States Illegally? Call Us Today

It was always your dream to live and work in America. Fulfilling that dream may have compelled you to make many sacrifices. You may have left your loved ones in your home

country. And now that you are settled and prosperous, you want to reunite with them. Many immigrants and migrants are in your position. They have families in their home country who want to join them. Unfortunately, the opportunities for obtaining a visa are limited.

This leads many people to think about and even explore ways of bringing their loved ones into America illegally. You should think hard before doing such a thing. It can have the most damaging effects on your current or future immigration status.

To be clear, helping to smuggle anyone into the United States is a federal crime. It is called alien smuggling. If you are found guilty for it, you can turn your American Dream into an American Nightmare.

If you have been charged with this crime, then you will need legal immigration help Los Angeles. Our crime and immigration lawyer is the only one who can help you in this situation. You should contact a lawyer for legal immigration help Los Angeles with the right experience and expertise. It is the only way to help you salvage your chances for staying in the country.

Alien Smuggling

You do not need to commit the actual act of smuggling to be charged with this crime. If you are at all associated with the commission of such an act, you can be held liable for it. Providing money, false documents, a vehicle, shelter, food, or any other kind of support to someone who is trying to get across the border illegally can put you in serious trouble.

In fact, the law defines an alien smuggler as anyone who encourages, assists, or aids another to enter the United States in violation of law. The crime includes the following:

  • Hiding someone who has been smuggled across the border
  • Sending money to someone abroad so that they can hire someone to smuggle them in the country
  • Giving people false documents or a fake passport or birth certificate
  • Driving someone across the border illegally

These are just some examples. There are many more. And you should also keep in mind that you can be charged with alien smuggling even if you are unsuccessful in your attempt. The failure to effectively execute the act does not get you off the hook for attempting to commit the crime.

How This Crime Can Affect You

A conviction for alien smuggling will at the very least go on your record if you are applying for a visa. Indeed, being convicted of this crime will make you ineligible for a green card or any other U.S. visa.

If you have your visa and you want to apply for citizenship, the conviction can negatively impact your chances. Good moral character is one of the important requirements for naturalization. Having a criminal conviction on your record will make it hard for you to prove this, and it may prevent you from becoming a U.S. citizen. In fact, anyone with a felony conviction can never establish good moral character and is thus permanently barred from becoming a citizen.

If you are undocumented and living in the United States, then you are already at risk of deportation. Getting involved in alien smuggling will only increase the risk of something like this happening. If your name is linked to such action, it will give the immigration authorities one more reason to deport you. Indeed, if you are a person who was raised in the United States but never obtained papers that prove your right to live in the country it may be possible for you to qualify for one of the many schemes to get legal. With a conviction for alien smuggling you will harm your chances for qualifying for any immigration remedy.


There is a limited waiver for people who have engaged in alien smuggling. You may avoid deportation or damage being done to your prospects for a visa if you were helping your spouse or child to enter the United States illegally. The qualifications for such a waiver are quite stringent. If, for example, you were trying to smuggle your spouse, child, and other people across the border, you will not qualify for the waiver. You may also receive a waiver if you can prove that you acted in the public interest, for humanitarian purposes, or to ensure family unity.

The Ninth Circuit Court has ruled that a person may not use a waiver to prevent deportation or overcome the good moral character bar in citizenship application. If you are charged with alien smuggling in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, Montana, Idaho, Nevada, or Arizona, then your case may end up in this court.

Going Before the Judge

It is also important to remember this one simple point: you must be convicted of alien smuggling in order to get deported or have your chances for a visa ruined. That means you must go through a legal process. You should hire a Los Angeles crime and immigration lawyer to help you through the process.

As long as you are in the United States, you are entitled to criminal immigration defense Los Angeles. You should exercise this right.

Not all alien smuggling cases are as simple as they seem. The prosecution often gets it wrong. Just because your name turns up in an investigation into alien smuggling doesn’t mean you have broken any laws. The state must prove that you were directly involved in the commission of a crime. It will be the job of your criminal immigration defense Los Angeles attorney to discern the weaknesses and shortcomings of the prosecution’s case.

If you have been taken into custody and charged with the crime of alien smuggling, a Los Angeles lawyer for obtaining a green card with a criminal record can help you win your freedom and clear your name. You should contact a Los Angeles lawyer for obtaining a green card with a criminal record immediately to review your options.

Contact our immigration lawyer in Los Angeles today to evaluate your case!

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