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CBP Shifts Policy on Returning LPRs with Criminal Convictions

October 01, 2009

The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) announced that as of October 1, 2009 the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency (CBP) will change its policy toward returning lawful permanent residents (LPR) who have criminal convictions.  In the past CBP has admitted LPRs with criminal convictions through a process known as deferred inspection, and instructed such individuals to report to the local office at a later date to clarify the terms of their entry.  Beginning October 1, 2009, CBP port inspectors may instead issue a Notice to Appear (NTA) before an immigration judge to decide whether they should be admitted or removed from the United States. Issuance of an NTA triggers a formal removal proceeding that at best is a major inconvenience and at worst can lead to an individual being removed (deported) and barred from future entry to the United States for a period of years.  Clients with a record of past arrest or conviction should contact their attorney prior to any travel outside the United States to ensure that they are properly advised concerning possible consequences and what documentation to present at entry.

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