The Consequences of Shoplifting on Immigration

Written by joseph gabon
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Shoplifting in the United States falls under crimes of moral turpitude. These crimes emerge from human behaviour that is not in accordance with a community's moral laws and standards. A person is guilty of shoplifting if caught taking an item from a supermarket without paying for it or switching price tas of expensive merchandise with that of cheap one to pay less at the counter.


Immigrants found guilty of shoplifting face deportation, the forceful eviction of a person from the host country back to his motherland. A deportation order is often given to people caught shoplifting within the first five years of immigrating to the United States. According to "The New York Times," the United States needs £61 billion to deport illegal immigrants. Shoplifting, therefore, increases the number of deportees, making it more expensive for the government.

Visa Denial

People who have been found guilty of shoplifting in their country can't get a U.S. visa because the country's laws deny entry to those who have been found guilty of the offence. Some of those denied a visa resort to illegal border crossing into the United States and worsen the problem. According to Julie L. Meyers of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, there are 12 million illegal immigrants in the country. Some of these illegal immigrants entered the country through illegal means.

Effects on Naturalization

Immigrants must meet certain moral standards to become U.S. citizens through naturalisation. A criminal record involving shoplifting may hinder a person from completing naturalisation processes because the government can temporarily or permanently reject their application. Those who want to become U.S. citizens must demonstrate that they have good moral character with no criminal record.

Negative Public Perception

According to the National Association of Shoplifting Prevention, shoplifting is a psychological problem caused by the desire to "substitute a loss" resulting from divorce or death of someone close. Shoplifters are therefore considered to be people seeking revenge. Immigrants caught shoplifting give the public a negative opinion on those coming from other countries to live or work in the U.S. This can make it difficult for immigrants to find meaningful employment and turn to criminal activities that may make the public develop a resentment toward immigrants and immigration policies.

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