When it comes to immigration law, what the Obama administration giveth, the Obama administration taketh away.
In mid-August, the administration announced it would suspend deportations against undocumented immigrants if they did not pose a national security or public safety threat.
The statement omitted any references to lawful permanent residents.
Last summer I cheered when Padilla v. Kentucky was announced.
As a green card lawyer, I thought the Supreme Court had provided immigrants with a new weapon against unfair deportations.
Over the past 14 years, far too many lawful permanent residents have plead guilty to criminal charges without knowing the convictions would lead to automatic deportation from the U.S.
“Sometimes the biggest gifts,” my mother would tell me, “arrive in the smallest packages.”
This is true not just in day-to-day life, but also in immigration cases.
Recently, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals provided such a gift for immigrants fighting deportation and removal from the United States.
Due process, a cornerstone of American jurisprudence, cannot be applied selectively. Even if the beneficiaries are immigrants who have already been deported.
That’s the word from the Supreme Court.
In Caruchi-Rosendo v, Holder, the government was stopped from automatically deporting green card holders for minor drug possession convictions.
For lawful permanent residents, the decision represents a a major immigration appeals victory, and perhaps turning point in the ongoing battles against the ill effects of current deportation law.
For immigration attorneys, April Fool’s Day has a special meaning.
On April 1, 1997, huge changes were made to immigration law. Many of the largest adjustments took place in the area of deportation defense.
That’s over 13 years ago.
Since that time, immigration courts have provided only minimum guidance about what these changes really mean.
We live in an Age of Immigration Darkness.
Without judicial interpretation of the new rules, it is no surprise the number of immigration appeals have dramatically increased in the past decade.
Shortly after the new rules went into place, an American Bar Association study showed, 8% of Ninth Circuit appeals were immigration cases in 2002.
Just a few years later, they constituted nearly 48% of new filings.
Federal judges were not amused. Their backlog reached all time highs. .