The new ruling to allow Venezuelans to apply for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is fantastic news if you are from Venezuela. Once you get a TPS, you do not need to worry about the immigration authorities deporting you for being in the country without papers.
However, it does not prevent immigration authorities from trying to deport you for other reasons. Understanding more about your protections — and where they end — is important.
How can you still face deportation if you have Temporary Protected Status?
If convicted of criminal offenses, you could still face deportation. When deciding who to let into the country, immigration authorities look to see if you have a criminal record. They reserve the right to refuse a visa to people they see as undesirable. If you are already in the country, immigration authorities can still make judgments about your desirability.
If you commit a crime, the authorities may decide the U.S. would be better off without you. They may seek to send you back to your country of origin, regardless of how safe it is for you to return there.
What is a “good moral character” for immigration purposes?
If immigration authorities want to deport you due to crimes, they could try to show you lack “good moral character.” Some serious crimes automatically disqualify you from having good moral character. Yet prosecutors can also combine minor offenses, such as a few DUIs, to show you lack it.
Everyone can make a mistake, especially when young. A criminal conviction does not necessarily mean you lack good moral character. Yet, this is how those seeking to deport you may play it. It is crucial to seek legal help if facing deportation. The authorities may try to portray you as someone you are not to get a judge to sign a deportation order.