Study Shows Effects of 1996 Immigration Law on Legal Immigrants

Wednesday, March 31, 2010 at 11:04 am

Via Newswire, a study released today shows that immigration laws are not targeting the most dangerous illegal immigrants. The study, conducted by the law schools of the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of California, Davis, reports that changes to immigration law in 1996 have led to large numbers of deportations of legal permanent residents (LPRs), or green card holders, over a 10-year period due to non-violent, minor crimes: They now make up nearly 10 percent of all immigrants deported from the country.

From the report:

In 1996, Congress passed the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA) and the Illegal Immigrant Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA), which together introduced additional immigration restrictions on LPRs convicted of crimes. The law expanded the category of crimes designated as aggravated felonies to encompass a broad range of minor and non-violent offenses. Lawful permanent residents convicted of an aggravated felony are subject to mandatory deportation and other severe immigration consequences. Currently, a conviction may fall into this category without being a felony and without involving any aggravated circumstances.10 Even expunging such a crime from an individual’s record does not remove the immigration consequences it triggers.

Until 1996, most lawful permanent residents with criminal convictions facing deportation were entitled to a hearing before an immigration judge who would balance an individual’s criminal convictions against his or her positive contributions to the United States. At this hearing, an immigration judge could consider the impact that deportation of an LPR parent would have on U.S. citizen children and, if warranted, could decide to allow an LPR to remain in the country. However, the 1996 immigration laws eliminated such hearings for LPRs facing deportation based on convictions classified as aggravated felonies.

The report claims that more than 68 percent of LPRs are deported for minor crimes, including driving under the influence, simple assault and non-violent drug offenses, and that 88,000 U.S. citizen children have lost their legal immigrant parents through these laws.



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Orphe D
Comment posted March 31, 2010 @ 5:23 pm

Immigration, small steps toward a balanced budget – read on:

Comment posted April 1, 2010 @ 2:28 am

By all means welcome new–LEGAL–immigrants, from every corner of the world. This should specifically address people with specialized skills that include scientists, engineers and others with the highest credentials. They will not become a public responsibility, who will sooner or later need government handouts to exist. As in most of Europe and new measure of using points, to attain the best people for this highly technical world. But we must be aware of certain immigration attorneys will fudge records, to bring into America questionable mid-skilled workers, that might end also in the welfare lines. In any country their are large majority of less educated people, which includes this nation. Therefore, we should do all we can to stop millions of foreign labor, that becomes a major issue as in the furious controversy now frothing over into a major battle in the months to come?

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Trackback posted April 1, 2010 @ 8:18 am

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Zoraida Colon-Collado
Comment posted September 3, 2011 @ 1:25 am

I will remind Americans AGAIN that this was exactly the type of divisive rhetoric being bandied about when the Nazis developed their strategy to divide and conquer the German people. The results of bad political and financial decisions were blamed on Gypsies, Union Workers, Homosexuals and of course Jews. We all know the final result of that. While Americans tend to “pooh, pooh” such comparisons, I will also remind you that already a political figure is calling for the “death penalty” for illegal immigrants! Can the gas chambers of Germany be far behind? Will someone PLEASE step up to the plate of sanity and STOP this nonsense! We now know that the immigration “laws” of Arizona and Georgia were just ways to get more cheap labor and paychecks for private prisons to get richer. We know that instead of creating more jobs for Americans, they made an impossible to beat $1.75 per hour labor pool for farmers with an endless supply of prisoners possible due to immoral and unjust laws. How much further will we allow this to go before we put an end to the madness? Will it take another Civil War? The president says he is helpless and Republicans and Democrats point at each other while millions of human lives are destroyed. I am praying hard right now for a meteor shower that will take Washington, DC out! Obviously, the American voter doesn’t have enough sense to.

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