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Vague part of immigration law ruled unconstitutional by SCOTUS

It is the job of the United States Supreme Court to interpret the laws of the land. In doing so, the justices are also responsible for determining whether a particular law violates the U.S. Constitution. Recently, the court ruled that a portion of an immigration law relied upon to deport certain immigrants was not specific enough to meet the requirements of the Constitution. This ruling could potentially affect many individuals across the country, including some here in New Orleans.

The law in question concerns the deportation of immigrants with convictions for some aggravated felonies. The Immigration and Nationality Act only says that individuals with convictions for certain "crimes of violence" may be deported. This vague definition is the part of the law that the court ruled unconstitutional. Since Congress makes the federal laws in the United States, the Senate and House of Representatives would need to amend this portion of the law to meet the requirements set by the court and the Constitution.

The case originated in 2010 when a man faced deportation for convictions that included the burglary of a residence. He appealed his deportation, arguing that he was not given notice that his crime constituted a crime of violence as stated in the INA. The federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed. The case was then heard by the high court.

With all of the controversy surrounding immigration law right now, this ruling could provide some relief for numerous immigrants across the country. Anyone here in New Orleans who believes he or she wrongfully faces deportation based on this portion of the INA may benefit from discussing the matter with an immigration attorney. It may be possible to avoid being forced to leave the country.

Source: CNN, "SCOTUS nixes part of law requiring deportation of immigrants convicted of some crimes", Ariane de Vogue and Tal Kopan, April 17, 2018

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