10 Cir: Expands mandatory immigration detention

Earlier this week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit expanded the broad powers that immigration officials have to force migrants into mandatory immigration detention. Olmos v. Holder, No. 14-1085, slip op. (10th Cir. March 24, 2015). The court both endorsed and independently validated the Board of Immigration Appeals’ position that mandatory detention under INA § 236(c) is required even if the migrant is taken into ICE custody days after being released from criminal custody. This case involved a migrant convicted of state identity theft and two related crimes. After completing [...]

Crimmigration talks in Denver, Columbus, and Chicago

This week and next will be busy for me with talks in Denver, Columbus, and Chicago. All three talks will focus on immigration imprisonment, though each will take a different perspective. Details about these events are below. It would be great to see crImmigration.com readers in any of these cities. I’ll begin at noon tomorrow, March 25, with a public lecture at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. Here I’ll be discussing the important role that race has and continues to play in the creation and enforcement of immigration law in the United States. It’s hard to deny the explicit [...]

5th Circuit addresses good moral character requirement for non-LPR cancellation

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit recently clarified two related requirements for obtaining Cancellation of Removal for non-Lawful Permanent Residents. Rodriguez-Avalos v. Holder, No. 13-60736, slip op. (5th Cir. March 4, 2015). Specifically, the court concluded that the good moral character requirement doesn’t involve an analysis of moral turpitude and that the applicant must have established GMC during the ten years immediately preceding the immigration judge or Board of Immigration Appeals’ decision. This case involved a migrant who entered without inspection and was later [...]

Republican Senator’s proposal would expand mandatory detention

A proposal submitted in the U.S. Senate last week would expand the INA’s mandatory detention provision by decoupling detention with release from criminal confinement. Republican Senators spent some time last week debating amendments to the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015, S. 178, a provision introduced by Republican Senator John Cornyn (Texas) that would amend federal laws prohibiting human trafficking and providing support for trafficked individuals. One of the many amendments to S. 178 proposed, one by Oklahoma’s Senator James Inhofe would alter existing caselaw that limits [...]

Connect to crImmigration.com

As a field, crImmigration law is evolving every day. Legislatures enact statutes, law enforcement agencies adopt new policing tactics, and courts issue binding interpretations. If you’re new to crimmigration law or crImmigration.com, I invite you to keep in close touch with the developments I analyze twice a week year-round by doing as more than 550 people have done and subscribing to the blog. Subscribing is easy and free. Just enter your email address in the “subscribe” box on the right side of every page. That will ensure that you receive all new posts in your inbox automatically so you can [...]

DHS Inspector General assesses ICE alternatives to detention


A recent report by the Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General provides much needed insight into the inner workings of ICE’s alternatives to detention (ATDs). U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Alternatives to Detention (Revised) (Feb. 4, 2015). At the same time, the report hints at a major risk inherent in ATD expansions: that throwing more people into some form of government supervision will eventually mean more people in detention. Until November 2014, the government ran a single ATD program, called [...]

Virginia Supreme Court on Padilla prejudice standard

Migrants are prejudiced, the Virginia Supreme Court held, when their criminal defense attorneys fail to provide advice that would objectively lead them to turn down a plea offer whether or not the evidence of guilt is strong. Zemene v. Clarke, No. 140719, slip op. (Va. 2015). Students from the Immigrant Justice Clinic at American University Washington College of Law successfully argued this case under the supervision of their outstanding professor Jayesh Rathod. This case concerned a lawful permanent resident who was convicted of petit larceny stemming from an incident in which he was [...]

10 Cir: Clarifies choice of law and 212(h) eligibility

Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit issued a published decision addressing two vital issues. First, the court clarified which circuit’s law is to apply in removal hearings where the immigration judge is located in a different federal circuit as the migrant. Second, the court adopted an expansive interpretation of an important type of waiver from removal. Medina-Rosales v. Holder, No. 14-9541, slip op. (10th Cir. Feb. 24, 2015). Judge Kelly wrote the panel’s decision. This case involved an individual who appears to have entered the United States clandestinely, then at [...]