While most non-US citizens are generally aware that being convicted of a major crime may render them deportable, many will often underestimate the impact of certain traffic offenses on their immigration status. In New Jersey, for example, there is a traffic offense that is often charged as a companion offense to criminal offenses involving drugs, namely, 39:4-49.1 Drug Possession by Motor Vehicle Operator. This particular offense can be particularly virulent to a non-citizen because it is often dismissed as a something that is not criminal when, in fact, it is actually quite nasty.
Also known as "PD," a Prosecutorial Discretion Request may be of help to certain individuals presently in removal proceedings before an immigration judge. Contrary to popular belief, this is not technically a form or application filed with the court. Rather, it is a request to Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE") for an exercise of discretion to discontinue proceedings against you in order to focus its resources on more important priorities. No one is entitled to prosecutorial discretion as a right, and unfortunately, not everyone will qualify. The decision is made based upon a number of factors, both positive and negative, in evaluating whether you are a candidate for this.
While many minors are aware, or should be aware, that underage gambling is against the law, foreign-born minors may be exposed to additional collateral immigration consequences that are not as well known. While the offense is not found in or classified as a Title 2C criminal offense, it is nevertheless considered a disorderly persons offense. New Jersey Statute 5:12-119 provides in part:
Some foreign athletes who excel in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and mixed martial arts ("MMA") may, depending on the strength of their accomplishments, potentially qualify for status here in the US. The O and P visas are temporary visas that authorize a practitioner to stay in the United States beyond what would be permitted on a typical tourist visa and more importantly, allow the person to work for a sponsor, which in this context, is usually a martial arts school or team. Depending on the person's credentials and sponsor, permanent residence may also be a viable path to pursue. Employment-based petitions generally fall into three major categories or "preferences." The category that is arguably the hardest to qualify under is the EB-1, or employment-based first preference, which is reserved for athletes of extraordinary ability. Individuals who are able to demonstrate extraordinary ability in their field of expertise, (whether it be Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, Judo, MMA, etc.) through sustained national or international acclaim, may merit classification under this ground.