Inadmissibility Overcome at BorderPublished: May 20, 2010 7:00 am
Our client is a Canadian citizen. Unfortunately, 13 years ago he was convicted in New York State of violating a section of the General Business Law which could have resulted in a conviction for either a felony or a misdemeanor. He was sentenced to a one year conditional discharge at the time without any imprisonment being imposed.
This conviction worked its way into the Department of Homeland Security’s computers and he was denied admission to the United States as a result. At this point we were retained.
We investigated the circumstances of the conviction and obtained copies of the court records. Upon review, we determined that he had been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude, which would have made him inadmissible except for something known as the “petty offense exception”. He was convicted of a misdemeanor. The maximum term of imprisonment that could have been imposed was one year, and the actual term of imprisonment was six months or less.
Because this was our client's only conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude or otherwise, the conviction did not prevent him from being admissible to the United States. We wrote to the port of entry where he was denied admission, provided them with copies of the relevant documents and a letter brief setting forth the law and why our client was admissible to the United States.
Within one week, we received a response from the Chief Inspector at the POE agreeing with our position. Appropriate computer entries were made, which hopefully will prevent a reoccurrence in the future.