Driving while drunk and under the influence is a serious offense and can have significant immigration consequences for non-citizens.
A conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) is typically considered a “significant misdemeanor” under immigration law and can result in inadmissibility or deportation proceedings. Additionally, non-citizens who are arrested for DUI or DWI may also face detention by immigration authorities, even if they have not been convicted of a crime.
In some cases, a DUI or DWI conviction may also be considered a crime of moral turpitude (CMT) under immigration law, particularly if the offense involved aggravating factors, such as reckless driving, property damage, or bodily injury to another person. A CMT conviction can have even more severe immigration consequences, including ineligibility for certain forms of relief from removal, such as cancellation of removal or asylum.
It is important to note that even a single DUI or DWI conviction can have long-term immigration consequences and can affect an individual’s ability to obtain lawful permanent residence or U.S. citizenship. Non-citizens who have been arrested or convicted of DUI or DWI should consult with an experienced immigration attorney for guidance on the particular issues in their case, including any available defenses or forms of relief.
PERSECUTION AND CHANGED COUNTRY CONDITIONS
It is possible for an asylum applicant to lose their case even if they can show that they have suffered persecution in their home country. This can occur if there are fundamental changes in circumstances in the applicant’s home country that eliminate the basis for the applicant’s fear of persecution.
The doctrine of changed country conditions recognizes that asylum claims are based on the circumstances that existed at the time the applicant fled their home country and that those circumstances may change over time. If the situation in the applicant’s home country improves to the point where they are no longer at risk of persecution, their asylum claim may no longer be valid.
For example, if an applicant fled their home country due to political persecution, but a democratic government is subsequently elected and political persecution is no longer a widespread problem, the applicant may no longer have a valid asylum claim. Similarly, if an applicant fled their home country due to violence in a particular region, but the violence subsides and the region becomes safe, the applicant may no longer have a valid asylum claim.
It is important to note that the doctrine of changed country conditions can be complex and fact-specific, and the applicant bears the burden of proving that the circumstances have not changed sufficiently to eliminate their fear of persecution. It is also important to note that even if the applicant’s asylum claim is denied due to changed country conditions, they may still be eligible for other forms of relief, such as withholding of removal or protection under the Convention Against Torture.
Asylum applicants who are concerned about changed country conditions should consult with an experienced immigration attorney, who can provide guidance on the particular issues in their case and help them present the strongest possible case for relief.