Caribbean Immigrants Fighting Deportation Now Face More Limited Options



News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Thurs. Oct. 31, 2019: It’s not a ‘trick or a treat’ but the reality of the continued Trump administration’s immigration crackdown.

Caribbean and other immigrants fighting deportation from the U.S. now have even more limited options after U.S. Attorney General William Barr recent two decisions.

The little-noticed decisions,
made through the attorney general’s unique “certification” power, disqualifies
people with multiple drinking and driving convictions from many paths to legal
immigration status. It also removes a long-standing path to stop deportation
for people with old criminal convictions.

Barr can make such sweeping
decisions over immigration law because unlike most of the federal court system,
immigration court is part of the executive branch, not the judiciary, and is
housed within the Department of Justice.

Barr ruled
that two or more Driving Under the Influence convictions disqualify an
immigrant from having “good moral character.”

DUIs are the
most common criminal conviction for people arrested by Immigration and Customs
Enforcement, according to federal data obtained by Syracuse University’s
Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse. They are among the most common
crimes in many states, and are not deportable offenses on their own.

The “good
moral character” standard is used throughout the immigration system.
Immigrants must prove they have had good moral character for a set period of
years when requesting cancellation of a deportation order and in applying for
citizenship, among other immigration processes.

The second
instance decreases the ability of state courts to influence the federal
deportation process through adjusting old low-level criminal sentences. For
years, sentence modifications were accepted by immigration judges. But Barr’s
decision changes that, limiting which modifications can count in immigration
court. To count, a modification must be specifically because of an error in the
procedure of the case, not to avoid deportation.

The post Caribbean Immigrants Fighting Deportation Now Face More Limited Options appeared first on Caribbean and Latin America Daily News.

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