When it comes to seeking asylum, undocumented immigrants need to be aware of the complexities inherent in the law before they can pursue the possibility seriously. If you intend to apply for asylum, it is essential for you to apply for protection under the United Nations Convention Against Torture as well. This is extremely important if you have an established reason for fearing the possibility of torture from the country that you hail from. There may be cases when asylum won’t be granted especially if the applicant in question has a history that involves criminal felonies. The details that are involved in cases like this is best illustrated by the experiences of Maria C. Lugo.
Lugo is a citizen of Venezuela who entered the United States in 1996. Lugo was able to gain entry into the US through the use of a non immigrant visa. Lugo’s problems started once she exceeded the authorized staying period stipulated on her nonimmigrant B-2 visa. Lugo’s problems compounded when she had a run in with the law on 2005. Lugo was charged with concealing a felony during this period. The details of the felony involved Lugo’s boyfriend who was trafficking heroin which, consequently, placed Lugo in a compromising situation with elements of the law.
As a result of the felony charge, Lugo obtained legal counsel. On the advice of her lawyer, Lugo decided to plead guilty to one count of misprision of a felony. Lugo’s decision to plead guilty to the charge was spurred by the alternative of facing up to five years of incarceration. Lugo was sentenced to serving time and paying a fine. The case took on a complex turn because of Lugo’s immigrant status. Under immigration law, Lugo’s status as an undocumented immigrant jeopardized her stay in the US. Lugo was caught unawares by this development, asserting that her attorney did not inform her that a guilty plea could compromise her status.
Lugo’s case devolved from being a charge of misprision of a felony to a full blown case of removal from the US. As a response to the charges, Lugo decided to apply for cancellation of removal on the grounds that the move would yield consequences for her child. Lugo’s child is a U.S. citizen. Lugo also invoked the protection under the UN’s Convention Against Torture. The immigration judge presiding over Lugo’s case junked her appeal. The immigration judge found that Lugo was not eligible for the cancellation of removal because of the moral grounds that were involved in the felony charges that were raised against her and her boyfriend. As a consequence, Lugo was deported to Venezuela.
The complexities associated with immigration cases require the presence of legal counsel. If you or someone you know needs legal counsel regarding immigration issues, please contact the immigration attorneys at Lyttle Law Firm in Austin, Texas by visiting our website or calling us today at 512-215-5225.