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Thread: Federal Appeals Court Moves To Protect Some Immigrants From Deportation

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    Senior Member European Knight's Avatar
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    Federal Appeals Court Moves To Protect Some Immigrants From Deportation

    James Garcia Dimaya came to the United States from the Philippines in 1992 as a lawful permanent resident. He was twice convicted of first-degree residential burglary and sentenced both times to two years in prison.

    Because he was convicted of an aggravated felony — a “crime of violence” — the Department of Homeland Security considered him deportable after his release under the Illegal Immigration Reform

    and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996.

    Dimaya was locked up for close to five years before he was released on bond in March.

    Dimaya took his case to the courts, asking federal judges to review whether his “crime of violence” should allow the government to deport him back to the Philippines. And this week, a federal

    appeals court ruled in his favor — declaring that the current standard for a “crime of violence” is too vague to be constitutional, reversing a Board of Immigrant Appeals ruling that requires noncitizens

    to be deported if they are convicted of felonies.

    In its 2-1 ruling, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco relied on an U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June that also found that the definition of a “violent felony” in the Armed Career

    Criminal Act (ACCA) was unconstitutionally vague. The court focused on a section of the 1996 federal immigration law that requires the deportation of noncitizens — including both legal and

    undocumented immigrants — convicted of aggravated felonies involving “a substantial risk” that force “may be used” against someone else or another person’s property, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

    Judge Stephen Reinhardt, who wrote in the majority opinion, indicated that language in Dimaya’s case is similar to ACCA’s definition of a crime of violence and therefore “void for vagueness,” so he

    granted the petition for review.

    Reinhardt further stated that the definition of a crime of violence doesn’t give judges enough guidance “as to what constitutes a substantial enough risk of force.”

    The ruling doesn’t affect the sections of law that require the deportation of noncitizens — mostly legal immigrants — for specific felonies, such as murder rape, drug trafficking, some gun crimes, and large-scale fraud.

    But the ruling could affect people who were convicted of aggravated felonies, a category that was expanded in part thanks to the 1996 law which includes non-violent theft, non-violent drug offesnses,

    receipt of stolen property, perjury, fraud or deceit, and tax evasion.

    According to Immigration Policy Council, 68 percent of legal permanent residents were deported for minor, non-violent offenses, which fall under “aggravated felonies.”

    San Francisco has become the center of a national political controversy over how local law enforcement officials should handle immigrants who commit crimes. The recent death of Kathryn Steinlee,

    a San Francisco resident who was killed by an undocumented immigrant who was deported five times, has generated calls to crack down on “sanctuary cities” — places that have decided they don’t

    want to cooperate with federal immigration officials to turn over suspected criminal immigrants for potential deportation proceedings.

    On Tuesday, Senate Republicans rallied around a bill aimed at cutting federal funds to sanctuary cities that defy immigration laws.

    Undocumented immigrants can still be deported if they commit felonies. Still, this week’s ruling could have greater implications for potentially thousands of other immigrants who may be in similar

    situations as Dimaya.

    “There has to be a recognition that individuals should be considered on a case-by-case basis,” as they were before the 1996 law,” Andrew Knapp, a Southwestern University professor who represented

    Dimaya, told the San Francisco Chronicle.

    Federal Appeals Court Moves To Protect Some Immigrants From Deportation | ThinkProgress

  2. #2
    Senior Member Goldendaze's Avatar
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    Let me get this straight. So the accused committed a violent enough crime to be imprisoned for 5 years, but no violent enough for a federal court to deport? Complete lunacy! I had to read this twice and I must still be misreading it. He's not a citizen, he is a criminal.....Americans had to pay for him to be in prison and now he's not going to be deported. Did I miss something? Wouldn't the cost of sending him back be less than tax dollars restraining and providing legal council?


    -Stop the invasion with mass deportation!!
    Judy and European Knight like this.

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    Senior Member European Knight's Avatar
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