How the Supreme Court Decision on Deportation Impacts Californian Immigrants?

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On Tuesday, the United States Supreme Court ruled that a portion of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) was unconstitutional and, therefore, unenforceable across the United States. The decision restricts when an immigrant can be deported because of a felony conviction, and the 5-4 decision is expected to hinder many of the Trump Administration’s initiatives to step up the deportation of convicted criminals.

Wondering what the Supreme Court found problematic about the INA? Interested in how they reached their historic decision? Want or know how the Supreme Court decision on deportation will impact California immigrants? Our team at Greco Neyland in Los Angeles has the answers.

Questions of Crimes and Violence for the Supreme Court

James Garcia Dimaya arrived in the United States in 1992 at age 13. He was a Filipino citizen, admitted to the United States as a lawful permanent resident, and lived California most of his life. Then in 2007 and 2009, he pled no contest to charges of burglary in a California state court. While no contest is different from a guilty plea, the result is often the same for defendants, with Mr. Dimaya considered a convicted criminal by the state and the federal government.

As a result of these convictions, the federal government initiated deportation proceedings against Mr. Dimaya in 2010. The argument for deportation, as approved by a California federal judge, was his two criminal convictions. The judge ruled that under the INA, Mr. Dimaya’s burglary charges were deemed aggravated felonies and crimes of violence. Committing crimes of violence were grounds for removal from the United States under the INA.

Specifically, the INA stated that conviction of any crime that has as an, “element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person or property of another,” or “involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person or property of another may be used in the course of committing the offense,” were grounds for removal.

When the deportation proceedings against Mr. Dimaya began, he argued that these standards utilized by immigration enforcement and immigration courts were unconstitutional. Eventually, this argument landed his case in front of the U.S. Supreme Court back in 2017, and the decision was just released on Tuesday.

The Supreme Court Decision on Deportation for Crimes of Violence

With new Trump appointee, Neil Gorsuch, siding with the more liberal justices on the Supreme Court, the country’s highest court determined that the standard aggravated felony and language “crime of violence” were unconstitutionally vague. This determination means the INA must remove this language from the law and can’t use these standards to begin deportation proceedings here in California, or elsewhere in the U.S.

The Supreme Court decision stated that there was too much ambiguity among lower courts regarding what was and what was not a crime of violence. What is considered a violent crime in one state or by one local court may not be according to a different court. This created inconsistency and confusion among the lower courts. As the standard in the INA couldn’t be applied universally to all immigrants convicted of the same crimes, the language was unconstitutional.

This might be easier to understand when applied to Mr. Dimaya’s case. In the San Francisco Bay area, where Mr. Dimaya was arrested, charged, and convicted, an immigration court determined that his burglary convictions were crimes of violence. However, if his case was heard before an immigration court in Seattle, Washington or Rochester, New York, it is possible the court would reasonably reach a different decision. Even if the facts of Mr. Dimaya’s case were otherwise the same.

What Is the Impact of the Supreme Court Decision on Deportation?

After the Supreme Court’s ruling, conviction of a crime can still be grounds for removal and deportation. For example, a conviction for murder, rape, or terrorism is reason for deportation under other parts of the INA or separate immigration statute. The Supreme Court decision on deportation has no impact where there is a clear and specific statement that a criminal conviction is reason for removal. A California immigrant convicted of these crimes can still be stripped of permanent residency and deported.

However, current and future deportation proceedings for other criminal convictions, such as burglary, kidnapping, or sexual assault are in flux. There is a strong argument that the Supreme Court’s decision invalidates these deportation proceedings. A California immigration lawyer could help assess and advise on the possibility of stopping deportation in these cases.

If you or someone you know is facing removal and deportation because of a criminal conviction in California, or if you are concerned that removal proceedings are possible after a recent arrest, speak with the top rated immigration lawyers at Greco Neyland. Our LA-based team of immigration lawyers is ready and waiting to talk with you today. Simply call 213-295-3500.

 

 

The information in this blog post (“Post”) is provided for general informational purposes only. This Post may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this Post should be construed as legal advice from Greco Neyland Attorneys at Law or the individual author, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter.

How the Supreme Court Decision on Deportation Impacts Californian Immigrants?

inne-rpage-seperator

On Tuesday, the United States Supreme Court ruled that a portion of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) was unconstitutional and, therefore, unenforceable across the United States. The decision restricts when an immigrant can be deported because of a felony conviction, and the 5-4 decision is expected to hinder many of the Trump Administration’s initiatives to step up the deportation of convicted criminals.

Wondering what the Supreme Court found problematic about the INA? Interested in how they reached their historic decision? Want or know how the Supreme Court decision on deportation will impact California immigrants? Our team at Greco Neyland in Los Angeles has the answers.

Questions of Crimes and Violence for the Supreme Court

James Garcia Dimaya arrived in the United States in 1992 at age 13. He was a Filipino citizen, admitted to the United States as a lawful permanent resident, and lived California most of his life. Then in 2007 and 2009, he pled no contest to charges of burglary in a California state court. While no contest is different from a guilty plea, the result is often the same for defendants, with Mr. Dimaya considered a convicted criminal by the state and the federal government.

As a result of these convictions, the federal government initiated deportation proceedings against Mr. Dimaya in 2010. The argument for deportation, as approved by a California federal judge, was his two criminal convictions. The judge ruled that under the INA, Mr. Dimaya’s burglary charges were deemed aggravated felonies and crimes of violence. Committing crimes of violence were grounds for removal from the United States under the INA.

Specifically, the INA stated that conviction of any crime that has as an, “element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person or property of another,” or “involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person or property of another may be used in the course of committing the offense,” were grounds for removal.

When the deportation proceedings against Mr. Dimaya began, he argued that these standards utilized by immigration enforcement and immigration courts were unconstitutional. Eventually, this argument landed his case in front of the U.S. Supreme Court back in 2017, and the decision was just released on Tuesday.

The Supreme Court Decision on Deportation for Crimes of Violence

With new Trump appointee, Neil Gorsuch, siding with the more liberal justices on the Supreme Court, the country’s highest court determined that the standard aggravated felony and language “crime of violence” were unconstitutionally vague. This determination means the INA must remove this language from the law and can’t use these standards to begin deportation proceedings here in California, or elsewhere in the U.S.

The Supreme Court decision stated that there was too much ambiguity among lower courts regarding what was and what was not a crime of violence. What is considered a violent crime in one state or by one local court may not be according to a different court. This created inconsistency and confusion among the lower courts. As the standard in the INA couldn’t be applied universally to all immigrants convicted of the same crimes, the language was unconstitutional.

This might be easier to understand when applied to Mr. Dimaya’s case. In the San Francisco Bay area, where Mr. Dimaya was arrested, charged, and convicted, an immigration court determined that his burglary convictions were crimes of violence. However, if his case was heard before an immigration court in Seattle, Washington or Rochester, New York, it is possible the court would reasonably reach a different decision. Even if the facts of Mr. Dimaya’s case were otherwise the same.

What Is the Impact of the Supreme Court Decision on Deportation?

After the Supreme Court’s ruling, conviction of a crime can still be grounds for removal and deportation. For example, a conviction for murder, rape, or terrorism is reason for deportation under other parts of the INA or separate immigration statute. The Supreme Court decision on deportation has no impact where there is a clear and specific statement that a criminal conviction is reason for removal. A California immigrant convicted of these crimes can still be stripped of permanent residency and deported.

However, current and future deportation proceedings for other criminal convictions, such as burglary, kidnapping, or sexual assault are in flux. There is a strong argument that the Supreme Court’s decision invalidates these deportation proceedings. A California immigration lawyer could help assess and advise on the possibility of stopping deportation in these cases.

If you or someone you know is facing removal and deportation because of a criminal conviction in California, or if you are concerned that removal proceedings are possible after a recent arrest, speak with the top rated immigration lawyers at Greco Neyland. Our LA-based team of immigration lawyers is ready and waiting to talk with you today. Simply call 213-295-3500.

 

 

The information in this blog post (“Post”) is provided for general informational purposes only. This Post may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this Post should be construed as legal advice from Greco Neyland Attorneys at Law or the individual author, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter.

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