Real Immigration Reform would help drain the Federal Court swamp.
The American Immigration Lawyers Association, AILA, has reacted to the election of Donald Trump with . . let’s say . . . concern, to keep it non-inflammatory. But AILA should see a great opportunity for much needed improvements in the Immigration laws of our country. Here are a couple . . . in my mind . . . . no brainers.
1, Include Dairy workers in the category of agricultural workers authorized to receive non-immigrant employment visas. Under current law they can’t. (unless they have a B.S. from an Ag school, like Texas A&M for instance, then they qualify for H1-B. But not many College grads opt for hands-on dairy work)
2, The change that is so obvious (but would cause a near seismic reaction in the AILA boardroom) is to change the system of deportation for criminal aliens. We currently have a system that was introduced in the 1940s, and lumps all convictions, whether foreign or domestic into categories of deportable offenses. E.g., Controlled substance offenses, weapon offenses, Aggravated Felonies, and . . . the one most confusing, Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude (CIMTs). Now, the objective was understandable, to take convictions from foreign jurisdictions, and attempt to fit them within our system of jurisprudence.
However, to apply that methodology to convictions from States within the U.S. is so unnecessary and outdated. (like the phonebook) State penal codes are now easily accessible on-line, so they can simply be listed on a state-by-state basis. E.g., “These convictions in (Ohio) are deportable offenses: 1, THEFT, Ohio Revised Code § 2913.02, . . . etc. Thus, a non-citizen could know that if he/she commits this offense, they are subject to deportation. Instead, the current system would charge that conviction along with many other offenses as being a CIMT .
The problem with the current system, using CIMT as the example, is that there is constant litigation over issues involved with CIMT, in Federal Courts, including the Supreme Court. What qualifies as a CIMT?, What records may be examined to make the determination?, and on and on. There have been no less than 3 Supreme Court decisions in the last 4 years over issues involved with CIMT. So, while it keeps AILA and its members, like us, very busy, the time has come to . . . pull the plug . . . let the swamp drain. Simplify the process.
Instead, all 50 States penal codes should be referenced, e.g., Announce, “Okay, These convictions are deportable offenses, . . . . , and you can be subject to deportation, with some defenses. More serious crimes: “Committing these crimes will result in automatic deportation with (nearly) no defenses. ”
It is often said that the current deportation system is back-logged. It’s true and the reason is obvious.