Immigration detainer workshop

Immigration detainers are a key feature of current-day crimmigration law enforcement. They enable ICE to identify and apprehend potentially removable individuals who come into contact with local law enforcement agencies across the United States. In recent years, ICE has used detainers quite vigorously. From October 2011 to August 2013, the agency issued 436,478 detainers. Immigration detainers essentially ask local law enforcement agencies such as sheriffs’ offices to hold a potentially removable migrant for up to 48 hours after the end of the criminal matter. For example, 48 hours after a [...]

Latina/o immigrant involvement in violent crime

Despite the oft-repeated claims that immigrants commit more crime than the native-born, a developing body of criminological research indicates that the opposite is true: immigrants tend to commit less crime than the native-born. A couple of articles that I recently came across bolster this conclusion. In Incorporating Ethnic-Specific Measures of Immigration in the Study of Lethal Violence, Jacob I. Stowell and Ramiro Martinez, Jr. examine homicide data in Miami, a city with large Latina/o populations. 13 Homicide Studies 315 (2009). They conclude that “at least in the city of Miami, Latino [...]

BIA: Adjustment is admission for removal; refines what constitutes “element” of offense

The Board of Immigration Appeals did a lot in a short ten-page decision: held that adjustment of status constitutes an admission when determining removal, providing some clarity on when a sentencing enhancement constitutes an “offense,” and ultimately held that the military’s version of sodomy by force is a crime of violence type of aggravated felony. Matter of Chavez-Alvarez, 26 I&N Dec. 274 (BIA 2014) (Pauley, Guendelsberger, and Malphrus, Board members). Board member Pauley wrote the panel’s decision. This case involved a member of the U.S. Army convicted of sodomy by force in [...]

BIA: Nevada attempted possession of stolen vehicle isn’t theft type of aggravated felony

The Board of Immigration Appeals held that Nevada’s attempted possession of a stolen vehicle does not fit within the theft category of aggravated felony. Matter of Sierra, 26 I&N Dec. 288 (BIA 2014) (Pauley, Guendelsberger, and Greer, Board members). Board member Pauley wrote the panel’s decision. This case involved an LPR convicted of attempted possession of a stolen vehicle in violation of Nevada Revised Statutes 193.330 and 205.273. At the time, the statute criminalized possession of a stolen vehicle by a person who “knows or has reason to believe” that the vehicle was stolen. Nev. [...]

Dog whistle crimmigration


Crimmigration law, this blog’s readers know quite well, relies on a presumption that immigrants are especially prone to criminality. Reams of research suggest that’s not true (see, e.g., here and here. Numerous studies indicate that immigrant communities actually experience less crime than non-immigrant communities (see, e.g., here and here). This despite the fact that young men—the most likely people to engage in crime—are overrepresented in immigrant populations. What then explains the heavy reliance on criminal law enforcement practices to police immigration law that’s emblematic of [...]

First Circuit to decide whether removal requires proportionality review

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit heard oral arguments on April 9, 2014 about the role of proportionality in removal decisions. Hinds v. Holder, No. 13-2129 (1st Cir. 2014). Is removal and the inability to return to the United States simply too weighty a sanction for the law to mete out? This case involves a 58-year-old Jamaican citizen, Rogelio Blackman Hinds, who has lived in the United Since 1975, was honorably discharged from the U.S. Marines, has five U.S. citizen children, and a U.S. citizen wife. He also has a serious criminal history, having been convicted of federal [...]

Private prison companies continue thriving off immigration imprisonment

The country’s two largest private prison corporations, the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and GEO Group, released financial statements this week that reveal their continuing reliance on immigration imprisonment for millions of dollars of revenue. As publicly traded companies, CCA and GEO must both submit certain information to government regulators. Corrections Corporation of America On Wednesday, CCA, the larger of the two companies, released its FY 2014 First Quarter Supplemental Financial Information. That document states that the company earned $404 million in revenue from [...]

The Immigrant and Miranda

It’s no longer news that migrants frequently find themselves being prosecuted for federal immigration crimes. Illegal entry and illegal reentry regularly top the list of most prosecuted and convicted federal offenses. Meanwhile, DHS makes much of its reliance on local law enforcement officials to identify potentially removable individuals. Programs like Secure Communities and 287(g) have become part of the public conversation about crimmigration law even if other local-state-federal initiatives like the Criminal Alien Program and the Criminal Alien Removal Initiative remain largely [...]