Conspiracy and immigration law
Conspiracy is an agreement between two or more persons to commit a future crime.
Although conspiracy generally involved an unlawful act, it is possible
to conspire to a lawful act that becomes unlawful if carried out by more
Unlike accomplices to a crime, conspirators can be guilty even if the plan
is not completed or the actors are not aware of each other’s participation.
However, an agreement by two persons to commit a particular crime cannot
be prosecuted as a conspiracy when the crime is of such a nature as to
necessarily require the participation of two persons for its commission.
This is also known as Wharton’s Rule.
Conspiracy is a common law offense, and a crime under many U.S. jurisdictions.
Most U.S. jurisdictions also require an overt act in furtherance of the
agreement. An overt act is a statutory requirement, not a constitutional
one. The illegal act is the conspiracy's "target offense."
Section 212(a)(2)(A) of the INA states that any alien convicted of, or
who admits having committed, or who admits committing acts which constitute
the essential elements of a crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT) or
an attempt or
conspiracy to commit such a crime, is inadmissible to the U.S. CIMT are grouped into three
- Crimes against property (blackmail, arson, robbery, burglary, receipt of
- Crimes committed against governmental authority (tax evasion , corruption,
fraud against the government);
- Crimes committed against individuals, family and sexual morality (statutory
rape, murder, second or third degree assault, disorderly conduct, child
abuse or pornography).
Conspiracy to commit a crime involving moral turpitude can make a non-citizen
inadmissible and or deportable.
Under the INA, a conviction for a crime within this list can make a person
ineligible to enter the United States and to obtain a visa. If the person
is already present in the United States, a Green Card can be denied.
In addition, conspiracy, attempt, or acting as an accessory to a CIMT,
are themselves considered CIMT, and are punished and penalized as such
Section 212 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) lists the classes
of aliens who may apply for waivers of ineligibility. Before an applicant
can obtain a waiver for an immigrant or nonimmigrant visa, the reviewing
consular officer, must recommend a waiver to the Department of Homeland
Security (DHS), which has ultimate authority to grant or deny the waiver.
If the waiver application is filed by someone already in the United States,
the decision will be made by a USCIS immigration officer.
Conspiracy can carry severe immigration consequences like any other complete
crime of moral turpitude or aggravated felony. If you have been charged
with conspiracy, speak to a
criminal immigration lawyer
as soon as possible.