Keep up-to-date on crimmigration developments

Crimmigration law is changing constantly and there is no source better than to keep on top of key developments. I update the blog twice weekly on Tuesday and Thursday mornings with original analyses of law and policy about the intersection of criminal law and immigration law. Everything is free and available from anywhere you can access the internet. To make sure you don't miss the latest updates, do like almost 400 others have already done and subscribe to email alerts by entering your email address in the box located on the top right of every page. You will only receive [...]

Offshore immigration detention

In a fascinating working paper, Michael Flynn tackles the question that is at the heart of much of modern immigration law enforcement throughout the world: why do governments rely so heavily on detention. Michael Flynn, How and Why Immigration Detention Crossed the Globe (April 2014). In an important twist on the still small body of research on immigration detention, however, he turns his attention to destination countries’ use of detention sites outside their territorial boundaries. The founder of the Geneva-based Global Detention Project, Flynn is a longtime observer of immigration law [...]

Challenging Colorado’s human smuggling crime

Organizations with long histories of defending migrants recently joined a critical challenge to Colorado’s human smuggling crime that is pending before the Colorado Supreme Court. The organizations argue that Colorado’s statute is preempted by federal law and thus unconstitutional. Brief for National Immigration Law Center et al. as Amici Curiae Supporting Petitioner, Fuentes-Espinoza v. People, 2014 WL 1190061 (Colo. 2014). Bernardino Fuentes-Espinoza was convicted of violating Colorado Revised Statute § 18-13-128 which punishes assisting migrants with entering remaining in, or traveling [...]

10 Cir: Sentence reduction doesn’t alter period actually confined for good moral character determination

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit held that the period of confinement actually served governs a determination of whether a migrant lacks good moral character even if a criminal court reduces the sentence to a period less than the time actually spent behind bars. Garcia-Mendoza v. Holder, No. 13-9531, slip op. (10th Cir. June 2, 2014). Judge Briscoe wrote the panel’s opinion. This case involved a man who overstayed a visa and, years later, was convicted of driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident. He spent 104 days in jail prior to his conviction, all of [...]

5 Cir: Sexually assaulted detainees have tough row to hoe to hold officials accountable

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit denied claims brought by women who were sexually assaulted while being transported from the notorious T. Don Hutto Residential Center, an immigration prison in central Texas. Doe v. Robertson, No. 13-50459, slip op. (5th Cir. May 6, 2014) (Stewart, Garza, and Southwick). Judge Garza wrote the panel’s opinion. This case involved complaints by several women who were detained at Hutto and sexually assaulted by Donald Dunn, an employee of the private prison company Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), while being transported by Dunn from [...]

BIA: Criminal courts decide if mental illness precludes dangerousness

The Board of Immigration Appeals held that a migrant’s mental illness cannot preclude a finding that he was convicted of a particular serious crime. Matter of G-G-S-, 26 I&N Dec. 339 (BIA July 17, 2014) (Neal, Greer, and Kendall Clark, Board members). Board member Greer wrote the panel’s decision. This case involved a lawful permanent resident with a long-running history of paranoid schizophrenia who was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon, Cal. Penal Code § 245(a)(1). To increase the likelihood that he received a fair hearing, the immigration judge presiding over his removal case [...]

Imprisoning by choice

Why Are So Many Americans In Prison? Cover

It’s long ceased to be newsworthy that the United States leads the world in incarceration or that the “war on drugs” played a pivotal role in creating the mass incarceration that defines the late twentieth century and early twenty-first century exercise of penal power. What we don’t hear about as often is how exactly we got to this point and whether it protects our communities. And almost never do we here about how mass incarceration is playing out in the crimmigration world. In a meticulously researched, accessible tome, Why Are So Many Americans in Prison?, Steven Raphael from UC Berkeley [...]

BIA: Important development in categorical approach analysis & firearms offense

The BIA issued an important opinion detailing the latest turn in the categorical approach analysis. Specifically addressing the crime of violence type of aggravated felony and the firearms offense basis of removal, Matter of Chairez, 26 I&N Dec. 349 (BIA 2014) (Pauley, Malphrus, and Greer, Board Members), promises to affect crimmigration law analyses across the board. Board member Pauley wrote the panel’s opinion. This case involved an LPR convicted of violating Utah’s felony discharge of a firearm offense, Utah Code § 76-10-508.1. DHS successfully argued before an immigration judge [...]