Possible Negative Consequences
Family court JD adjudications are NOT defined as convictions for immigration purposes, but the impact on immigration can be the same. They can:
- Negatively impact a child’s ability to obtain and maintain lawful immigration status necessary to remain in the U.S.
- Be sources of information used to support “conduct-based” grounds for inadmissibility or deportability.
- Be used as negative discretionary factors in immigration applications for immigration relief & benefits.
Conduct-Based Grounds for Removal Do NOT Require a Criminal Conviction
- Under federal immigration laws, individuals can be barred from immigration relief, permanently removed from the U.S. and prevented from re-entering the country on the grounds of one’s past conduct.
- Juvenile Delinquency adjudications can provide conduct-related information to support permanent removal from the U.S.
- Conduct-based grounds include:
- Prostitution; drug abuse and addiction, drug trafficking; behavior showing a mental condition that poses a threat to self or others; false claim to US citizenship; and violations of Family Court orders of protection.
Admissions without a Family Court Finding
- Even without a finding by the Court, if a juvenile makes an admission to certain offenses, s/he can be denied status or be prevented from reentering the United States.
- The federal government treats “admissions” to underlying criminal conduct the same as criminal convictions when determining eligibility for:
- Certain immigration benefits (i.e. citizenship, green card, etc.)
- Certain forms of relief from deportation
- Reentry to the United States after travel abroad
Negative Factor in Applications
- Even when conduct is not a statutory “conduct-based ground,” delinquencies can be used as negative discretionary factors in immigration applications (i.e. green cards, citizenship, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
- Immigration applicants have to provide extensive information and can be asked to provide records related to juvenile delinquencies.