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ABA Policy on Deportation as a Result of Criminal Conviction

  • Organization: American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section Commission on Immigration
  • Date Created: Wednesday, February 15, 2006
  • Submitted: Wednesday, February 15, 2006
  • Attachment(s): DOC

On Tuesday, February 14th, the ABA House adopted new policy on deportation/removal as a consequence of conviction. The new policy, which was developed in the Criminal Justice Section and submitted to the House jointly with the Commission on Immigration, has three parts:

1.) Congress should restore authority to state and federal sentencing courts to waive a non-citizen's deportation or removal based upon conviction of a crime, by making a "judicial recommendation against deportation" upon a finding at sentencing that removal is unwarranted in the particular case; or, alternatively, to give such waiver authority to an administrative court or agency.

2) Federal immigration authorities should avoid interpretations of the immigration laws that extend the reach of the "aggravated felony" mandatory deportation ground to low-level state offenses that either are misdemeanors under state law or would be misdemeanors under federal law, and state dispositions that are not considered convictions under state law.

3) States, territories, and the federal government should expand the use of the pardon power to provide relief to non-citizens otherwise subject to deportation or removal on grounds related to conviction, where the circumstances of the particular case warrant it.

The report and recommendation are attached. Thanks to Jack Chin, Lynn Marcus, Ron Wright, and Manny Vargas for their help in drafting this at very short notice.

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