7) A naturalization applicant must demonstrate an understanding of the English language, including an ability to read, write, and speak words in ordinary usage in the English language. An applicant must also demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of the history, and of the principles and form of government, of the United States.
If you have a “deportable” conviction, and you apply for naturalization, not only your naturalization application can be denied, but you also can end up in removal proceedings. That means that you will have to defend yourself from deportation in Immigration Court.
Some people will be able to apply for Cancellation of Removal, which is a one-time pardon from deportation. If you committed an offense within 7 years after you were admitted to the U.S., you may be ineligible for this defense. If your conviction was for an “aggravated felony” (see below), you will be ineligible for this pardon. But if you plead guilty before April 24, 1996, and have no other offenses, then you may be eligible for a pardon under old laws.
Convictions for the following offenses may trigger initiation of deportation/removal proceedings. You cannot always tell if your conviction fits a particular category just by looking at the name of your offense, so expert advice is highly recommended.