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How the law handles immigrants who commit crimes

On Behalf of | Jan 21, 2021 | Immigration And Naturalization

Immigrants commit crimes at much lower rates than the general population. This includes illegal aliens. In fact, the vast majority of crimes immigrants face charges for relate to immigration itself. However, there are instances when immigrants face charges of non-immigration crimes. When this happens, will ICE deport them? 

It depends. The Trump Administration made several attempts to create stricter immigration laws. Sometimes, this worked. Other times, Supreme Courts struck down the attempts. Some tough immigration laws also existed prior to the Trump administration. 

Deportation of convicted immigrants 

For instance, for several years, federal law required the mandatory deportation of immigrants who commit violent crimes. However, a related case that originated under Obama’s administration made it up to the Supreme Court. In 2018, SCOTUS referred to this provision as vague and unconstitutional. The specific case in question involved an immigrant convicted of burglarizing homes in California, who then fought the mandatory deportation order. 

Detaining non-citizens with criminal records

Immigrants also suffered some losses in the ongoing legal battles. In 2019, USA Today reported that law enforcement now had more freedom to detain non-citizens with criminal convictions. When detained, immigrants may wait for months or years without a hearing and may have no option to post bail. 

Election officials have confirmed the democratic win for the 2020 presidential elections. Democrats have traditionally proposed more lenient regulations for immigration, particularly for legal residents. Consequently, immigration may look completely different in the next few years. 

Until and unless these policies take effect, however, immigrants need to proceed with caution. Current laws may not favor allowing them to remain if convicted of crimes.