From The Senate Judiciary Committee Majority Staff #cirmarkup


S. 744: The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act

Grassley43 Would Deport Immigrants Based on Guilt By Association

 

An amendment offered Monday during the Judiciary Committee’s consideration of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act would impose a standard of guilt by association, subjecting immigrants who have never committed a crime to deportation, including legal residents.

 

Amendment is inconsistent with American values.

 

Grassley43 imposes a standard of guilt by association.  It would allow an individual to be deported based on an inference that an individual is dangerous and therefore deportable, based solely on association rather than an individual person’s culpable conduct.  It would allow a determination that someone is a member of a street gang without a specific burden of proof.

 

This guilt by association approach could unfairly and disproportionally affect youth of color, immigrants living in inner-city neighborhoods and low-income communities and increase the use of racial profiling.

 

S.744 already makes immigrants deportable or inadmissible based on gang-related crimes.


The current bill already targets criminal gang members, imposing stiff immigration penalties.  The legislation makes anyone who has been convicted of a gang offense deportable.  It makes aliens convicted of a gang offense inadmissible and ineligible for Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI) status.  It also makes aliens determined by DHS to have knowingly and willfully participated in a criminal street gang (since the age of 18) inadmissible and ineligible for RPI status even without a criminal conviction.  In addition, gang members who commit crimes could be deported based on their criminal records.  Senator Grassley’s amendment attempting to exclude and deport immigrants based on guilt by association runs contrary to the country’s longstanding history as a nation of immigrants, and undermines core American ideals of fairness and individual accountability.  

About David Leopold
Past President American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), In-the-Trenches practicing immigration Attorney, Blogger, Activist, Photographer, Educator, World Traveler. All opinions are my own.

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