Imagine this scenario: you are traveling to the United States, hoping to have a wonderful vacation and perhaps to even move there. However, when you reach the border, you find out that you are inadmissible to enter the U.S. because you have a criminal record.
Not all crimes will prevent you from entering the United States, and some can easily be waived. That being said, some crimes can make you a threat to the country, which is why they do not want to take the risk. Here are the crimes that may get you stopped at the border.
1. Moral Turpitude Crimes
Moral turpitude crimes are those that gravely violate accepted community standards or sentiments. Some are minor, such as shoplifting or passing a bad check. However, some may go as far as aggravated assault or murder. Moral turpitude clauses are affecting jobs, and are also causing problems at the airport.
Even if you were not technically convicted for this and you just intended to do something, it may still cause issues. You are safe if you are under 18 or if it’s been more than 5 years since you got out of jail.
2. Controlled Substance Violations
The United States has very strict drug laws, and this will likely stop you at the airport as well. For example, if you were involved with drug traffic or attempted to do so, this will make you inadmissible to the United States. Even possession of small THC amounts can get you in trouble if it goes past the accepted limit.
The applicant is not the only person that may be denied entry. Their close family may have problems as well. For example, if your wife or children received financial benefits from your illegal activity, they may be prevented from entering as well. The reason is that they should have known where the money came from.
3. Multiple Convictions
If you have been convicted for more than one crime and the total sentencing makes more than 5 years, then you may be denied entry into the United States. It does not matter if it was one bigger crime or multiple smaller ones. Unless the conviction has somehow been waived with the help of a criminal defense lawyer, you will not be able to get past security.
4. Commercialized Vices and Prostitution
If you are or have engaged in prostitution within 10 years of getting your visa, then you may likely be denied entry into the United States. Similarly, if you procured prostitutes or received proceeds from them, airport security may not let you pass.
Engaging in these commercial vices is against the law in the United States. If you were charged with it before, the state will believe you will likely do it again.
5. Previous Deporting
If you have been deported from the United States without having the proper visa, you may be allowed inside the country – but it won’t be as a free person. In the United States, this crime is treated as a felony.
If they catch you trying to enter the country again, two things can happen. For one, you will spend the night in jail and get bailed out, paying a significant fine before you get out. However, if the reason for your being deported is more severe, then you even risk extended jail time.
Technically speaking, you may be allowed inside the country – but it will only be behind bars. You may also be deported back to your country, where your country authorities will handle your imprisonment.
6. Money Laundering
If you were charged with money laundering or abetting, then there is a good chance you will be prevented from entering the United States. This crime is considered an aggravated felony and will paint you as a risk for entering the United States.
A small charge may still allow you access, as long as you are just traveling and have a good lawyer. If it happened more than 10 years ago and there hasn’t been any incident since then, you may still get past the checkpoint. However, if you are planning to move there, then you will likely stumble across some admission issues.
7. Being Involved in Human Trafficking Can Make a Person Inadmissible to Enter the U.S.
If you have been charged with human trafficking or are suspected of it, then you will likely be prevented admission into the United States. It doesn’t matter if the crime took place in the United States or outside. This is a serious crime that will signal you as a risk to the United States.
The Bottom Line
Traveling is not always easy to do, especially if you’ve had problems with the law before. If you have a criminal record, you may want to check beforehand if you are admissible or not. You don’t want to travel all the way to the US, only to be stopped at the airport.