1st Circuit rolls back detention reforms

In a disheartening move that is likely to create more impediments to migrants trying to escape detention pending removal proceedings, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit overturned a district court decision that imposed substantial limits on the federal government’s use of INA § 236(c), the so-called mandatory detention statute. Reid v. Donelan, No. 14-1270, slip op. (1st Cir. April 13, 2016). The court held that migrants detained unreasonably are entitled to an individualized hearing, but it tossed out the district court’s conclusion that the Fifth Amendment Due Process Clause [...]

Supreme Court reinforces unconstitutionality of key sentencing phrase

All eyes this week were appropriately on the Supreme Court’s consideration of President Obama’s immigration executive actions. Just before attorneys in that monumental case took to the lectern Monday morning, the Court released an important decision reinforcing its earlier holding that a key sentencing law phrase is unconstitutional. In Welch v. United States, No. 15-6418, slip op. (April 18, 2016), the Court held that a sentencing enhancement that turns on whether a defendant has previously been convicted of a “violent felony” cannot be applied regardless when the conviction occurred. At [...]

Jennifer Chacón on detention livestream today

The second installment of the Crimmigration Law Lecture Series at the University of Denver takes place today. The lecture series is dedicated to understanding the depth to which the criminal and immigration justice systems have become entwined in a single crimmigration regime. Professor Jennifer Chacón from the University of California, Irvine School of Law and Professor Mariela Olivares from Howard University School of Law will join us to discuss detention. You can watch Professor Chacón’s talk live at noon Mountain Time here (the video will begin playing automatically at [...]

Immigration detention everywhere

Review of Immigration Detention: The Migration of a Policy and its Human Impact (Amy Nethery and Stephanie J. Silverman eds. 2015) As I write, there are toddlers surrounded by barbed wire in isolated parts of Texas, there are migrants who have risked everything in search of safety in Australia turned back by military vessels and sent to rancid camps offshore, and there are North Africans, Syrians, and others caught in Europe’s latest identity crisis. All are experiencing immigration detention. This was not always the case. In the middle of the twentieth century, the United States all but [...]

Limiting immigration imprisonment

Immigration imprisonment is undeniably a core feature of immigration law enforcement. Every year since President Obama took office, ICE has held somewhere in the vicinity of 400,000 people behind barbed wire simply because they are thought to have violated a civil provision of immigration law. Almost another 100,000 are confined while awaiting prosecution for an immigration crime, usually unauthorized entry or unauthorized reentry. States do their part too to ratchet up the likelihood that a migrant will wind up behind bars for doing something related to migration. Arizona has been most [...]

Crimmigration Law Lecture Series Continues April 19

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The Crimmigration Law Lecture Series continues at the University of Denver on Tuesday, April 19. Having covered race’s role in the development of crimmigration law when we launched the lecture series in March, this time around we will be focusing on detention. Joining us will be Jennifer Chacón from the University of California, Irvine School of Law and Mariela Olivares from Howard University School of Law. As readers of crImmigration.com know all too well, confinement has long been a core feature of United States immigration law enforcement. This iteration of the year-long Crimmigration [...]

Following Trend, Fifth Circuit Holds Definition of Crime of Violence Unconstitutionally Vague

By Sarah Flinn Agreeing with both the Seventh and Ninth Circuits, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit concluded that the definition of crime of violence in 18 U.S.C. § 16(b) is unconstitutionally vague. United States v. Gonzalez-Longoria, No. 15-40041, 2016 WL 537612, at *1 (5th Cir. February 10, 2016). Mr. Gonzalez-Longoria was convicted and sentenced for being illegally present in the United States in violation of Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) § 276. Id. During sentencing, the trial court determined that Mr. Gonzalez-Longoria’s prior Texas felony conviction was an [...]


By: Thamys Gaertner In a decision issued on February 9, 2016, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) concluded that a crime of endangering the welfare of a child is categorically a removable offense under § 237(a)(2)(E)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(E)(i) (2012). Henry Javier Mendoza Osorio is a native of Ecuador and a United States lawful permanent resident. Matter of Mendoza Osorio, 26 I&N Dec. 703 (BIA 2016). Mr. Mendoza Osorio was convicted of endangering the welfare of a child under § 260.10(1) of the New York Penal Law. Id. Consequently, DHS [...]