THE DEPORTATION OF A FOREIGN NATIONAL IS PUNISHMENT FOR A CRIME?

Here is what immigration is suppose to look like.

I read this today with some disappointment.

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Supreme Court said Tuesday that part of a federal law that makes it easier to deport immigrants who have been convicted of crimes is too vague to be enforced.

The court’s 5-4 decision – in an unusual alignment in which new Justice Neil Gorsuch joined the four liberal justices – concerns a catchall provision of immigration law that defines what makes a crime violent. Conviction for a crime of violence makes deportation “a virtual certainty” for an immigrant, no matter how long he has lived in the United States, Justice Elena Kagan wrote in her opinion for the court.

The decision is a loss for President Donald Trump’s administration, which has emphasized stricter enforcement of immigration law. In this case, President Barack Obama’s administration took the same position in the Supreme Court in defense of the challenged provision. President Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday evening that the court’s decision “means that Congress must close loopholes that block the removal of dangerous criminal aliens, including aggravated felons.” He ended by saying “Keep America Safe!” (continued here)

Think about this statement from the article quoted above.

Conviction for a crime of violence makes deportation “a virtual certainty” for an immigrant, no matter how long he has lived in the United States, Justice Elena Kagan wrote in her opinion for the court.

When somebody comes to the United States and commits a crime, why would we want them stay here? When a troublemaker is the citizen of another country, why is that person our problem? Deportation is not a punishment. It is just a way a dealing with an unwanted guest. Moreover, the Constitution explicitly gives this power to Congress.

What do we do when someone comes into our house and makes trouble? Don’t we ask them to leave? Don’t we call the police for help if necessary? That is apparently what the framers of the Constitution thought too. They just applied the same logic to our entire nation.

There are fifty states and a multitude of legal jurisdictions in this nation. The whole notion that any statute designed to identify and deport troublemakers could completely avoid being vague is on its face absurd. So what if the statute is not crystal clear? Consider this case. If some foreigner burglarized your home, would you want him to be deported or to stay here? Is that a hard decision? For the geniuses on the Supreme Court, apparently it is.

How did we get into this mess? I would like to say I completely understand why some people find it so difficult to distinguish between citizens of the United States and foreigners, but I don’t. When the people of foreign nations are willing to build ICBMs, tip them with nuclear warheads, and point their ICBMs at us, it should be completely obvious that we need to be concerned that foreigners don’t necessarily share the same concern for the welfare of the people this country and its traditions that we do.

Does the confusion on the Supreme Court have anything to do with the cheap labor illegal immigrants provide? Why did the judges on the Supreme Court once approve of slavery? How about the political party that poor immigrants (immigrants that we immediately put of the public dole) vote for? Do political calculations influence the votes of some judges?

Anyway, here is an article on the Constitutional issues related to the decision.

Gorsuch is dead wrong on immigration
But Gorsuch?

(conservativereview.com)
Posted April 18, 2018 by Daniel Horowitz

The “but Gorsuch…” rallying cry for voting GOP is starting to run out of gas as the judiciary gets worse and worse and even “our” appointees find some convoluted reason to go along with the left-wing judicial supremacists who make a mockery of the will of the people.

In case you thought courts granting new rights to criminal aliens was a pastime only of the left-wing judges on the Ninth Circuit, think again. Yesterday, Neil Gorsuch joined with the four most extreme-left justices to rule that an entire statute of Congress mandating deportation for criminal aliens convicted of a crime of violence is “unconstitutionally vague.” While many conservative commentators defending and even championing his opinion are focusing on the regulatory aspect of Gorsuch’s rationale as it applies to general criminal law, they fail to observe that this is truly unprecedented and divorced from our entire history of immigration jurisprudence on deportations.

The case, Sessions v. Dimaya, was about a foreign national who was convicted twice of burglary and was ordered to be deported by the Obama administration. The Ninth Circuit stepped in and said the clause of the law used to deport him was unconstitutional, because it is evidently unconstitutional to enforce our own immigration laws unless we spell out every possible crime in the statute so that foreign nationals know the entire laundry list of crimes for which they can be deported. A right to know! (continued here)

Note that the article contains a link to the court’s decision. So we can study that too.

Want a verbal explanation? Note also that Mark Levin had Daniel Horowitz on his show today (audio links here: click on the => Mark Levin Audio Rewind – 4/18/18). Levin starts his show with the case and Horowitz discusses the case ten and a half minutes into the show.

You want to get the courts back under control? This is an election year. Both Congressional and Senate seats are on the ballot. Whichever party you belong to, please take part in the nomination process and then in the general election.

 

25 thoughts on “THE DEPORTATION OF A FOREIGN NATIONAL IS PUNISHMENT FOR A CRIME?

  1. Okay, I’ve read up on the law a bit now so I have a better understanding beyond just the Supreme Court overview (which is a bit tedious and painful to read in its entirety).

    The SC transcript didn’t seem to indicate that precise aggravated felonies were actually cited specifically (enumerated). I don’t see why deportation for burglary would be considered vague. It’s right there (if you click on the specific linky in the above link…for some reason I cannot link to the list directly).

    Now, the other subject, which seems to be the point of this thread. There is a big difference between an illegal immigrant, a legal immigrant with a visitor’s visa, and a lawful permanent resident of the United States who is an immigrant. The first shouldn’t be here, the second I would classify as a “guest”, the third is more than a mere guest. It isn’t easy and takes years to become a lawful permanent resident of the US. These are people who have gone through a heavy process to be here, are typically very very invested in the US. The fact they haven’t taken a citizenship test really doesn’t change this.
    My mom became a citizen when I was ten. I’m not sure how she passed the test as she only went to the third grade but I guess she was motivated. At any rate, had she never taken the test I don’t think she would or should be entitled to less due process than the average American…and exile from a country you’ve lived for over forty years, owned a business and paid taxes into for 40 years really does deserve an extra bit of consideration. My grandfather was a Swiss citizen, a permanent resident of the US and fought for the US during the big war (that was WWI, my dad fought in the second….I assume gramps became a US citizen but I’ve never saw his naturalization paperwork. He did have two sons who served, and a daughter who served as a WASP, and he was a farmer who owned a large portion of Tecumseh Michigan).

    “What are the open borders people trying to do? They are trying to make our immigration laws unenforceable. That, effectively, is the net effect of this decision.”

    As I said above I no longer agree with the decision because it isn’t vague.
    But I disagree that this is a pertinent “open borders” example. See above about the difference.
    And I think conflating all immigrants (even all legal immigrants for that matter) into the same category is a mistake.
    In fact, the Supreme Court ruled on this back in 1951 so no one has to just take my word for it. In Jordan v. De George, the Court concluded that, “in view of the grave nature of deportation,” the most exacting standard must apply. The SC likened deportation for a longstanding permanent legal resident of the US as comparable to exile.

    “When is Congress going to get around to updating the law, much less writing an interminable list of crimes?”
    Well, apparently the list is already there. So we’re ahead of the program.

    Per the rest, we could place a moratorium on all immigration until the current ones assimilate as far as I am concerned. I think it might be prudent, in fact.
    Permanent legal residents are not a fan of open borders…they are generally FAR LESS a fan (in my experience) a fan than the average US citizen.
    Conflating them with visitors and illegals is a mistake, in my opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @anon

      I will readily concede the fact that Dimaya is here legally makes his case less applicable to those who are here illegally. However, consider the difficulty we have with border enforcement. If someone comes here and seeks asylum, our border agents have to release and hope they show up when they hearing comes up, about two years latter.

      We are giving illegal aliens too much due process, and Congress, for an obvious reason, is unwilling to pay for place to confine the illegals until their hearing. Once the illegals know that, crossing the border just delays them a little bit.

      Most of our elected officials just see immigrants as cheap labor. The rich don’t much worry about flooding the public schools with the children of poor immigrants. Their children go to private schools.

      Hence, Gorsuch’s vote in this case was a bad sign.

      Like

  2. The point of distinction in the law is the words “violent crime”. This person has burglarized an abandoned building. Is that a violent crime? Gorsuch’s assessment is correct: the law is too vague as written.

    Like

    1. @Catherine

      Too vague for what? Would you like to define too vague? How exact do you think you will have to be before I decide you are not being too vague?

      Some people call waterboarding torture. Some don’t. Same words, but we always disagree about something.

      No law is ever written perfectly. So we have lawyers and judges whose job it is to take our laws and figure out how to apply them in specific situations. In this case, they just threw the law out, and their explanation does not make sense, but it sounds so noble.

      To be good enough for our country, the law needs to be perfect. Not!

      This guy was twice convicted of first-degree residential burglary.

      First degree residential burglary is always a felony and is commonly referred to as residential burglary. First degree residential burglary refers to burglary that takes place in an inhabited dwelling, for instance, a home, apartment, house boat, ultimately any place where people can live; reference Penal Code 459 for a full list of inhabitable structures. (from => http://esfandilawfirm.com/crimes/ca-penal-code-459-burglary/)

      Here is another source => https://ballotpedia.org/Sessions_v._Dimaya.

      Frankly, whenever someone trespasses with the intent to steal, there is always the risk someone will try to stop them. Why steal something that is not worth anything? Please observe that this guy was caught. Somebody cared.

      Like

  3. This kind of crap makes me so so frustrated—how is black and white so utterly muted in Washington????—‘commit the crime, do the time’ has always been the old saying…commit the crime and pack your bags needs to be another—how hard is that to figure out??
    You are here illegally—you are not a citizen, you commit a crime so it only makes sense you be deported—other countries don’t hesitate to do such…so why have we decided that none of that should now matter?

    Like

    1. @Julie

      We elected some people we should not have elected.

      God will eventually judge us. He will decide the extent of our contributions towards creating this mess and others. On Judgement Day I can only guess how much such as this will matter, but I expect it will surprise more than a few.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hm….this doesn’t happen often but I’m going to respectfully disagree with you, and Conservative review, and Tricia above.

    I think the Supreme Court is doing its job here…which is not to make decisions exclusive to any particular case.
    The rulings set precedents for future convictions. It really is’t about this burglar in question. I can see potential problems if the law is too vague. This is not a frivolous concern.
    For example: What about the South Korean immigrant business people who defending their own property during the LA riots/Ferguson? Since the media and federal government often side with the violent mob over a lone self-sufficient small business owner or employee defending their only livelihood. Abuse of this law is actually pretty easy for me to imagine.
    Striking down this particular law does not mean we cannot or will not deport violent felons.
    It just means this particular law has been determined to be too vague as written.

    Gorsuch, in his decision, emphasized at the outset that “Vague laws invite arbitrary power.”
    The Supreme Court reached its conclusion by relying on Johnson v. United States, in which the Supreme Court, in a 2015 opinion by Scalia, found that the Armed Career Criminal Act’s similarly worded definition of “violent felony” was so vague as to violate the due process clause.
    Gorsuch is siding with Scalia here.
    https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/17pdf/15-1498_1b8e.pdf

    Like

    1. @anon
      This is from the syllabus for the court decision.

      The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) virtually guarantees that any alien convicted of an “aggravated felony” after entering the United States will be deported. See 8 U. S. C. §§1227(a)(2)(A)(iii), 1229b(a)(3), (b)(1)(C). An aggravated felony includes “a crime of violence (as defined in [18 U. S. C. §16] . . . ) for which the term of imprisonment [is] at least one year.” §1101(a)(43)(f). Section 16’s definition of a crime of violence is divided into two clauses—often referred to as the elements clause, §16(a), and the residual clause, §16(b). The residual clause, the provision at issue here, defines a “crime of violence” as “any other offense that is a felony and that, by its nature, involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person or property of another may be used in the course of committing the offense.”

      Your example of a Korean immigrant requires a conviction. If someone is convicted for defending their home or business with a firearm, that’s the abuse of the law, not their deportation.

      Here is what those dissenting observed.

      The term “crime of violence” appears repeatedly throughout the Federal Criminal Code. Section 16 of Title 18 defines it to mean:

      “(a) an offense that has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person or property of another, or “(b) any other offense that is a felony and that, by its nature, involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person or property of another may be used in the course of committing the offense.”

      This definition of “crime of violence” is also incorporated in the definition of “aggravated felony” in the Immigration and Nationality Act. 8 U. S. C. §1101(a)(43)(F) (“aggravated felony” includes “a crime of violence (as defined in section 16 of title 18, but not including a purely political offense) for which the term of imprisonment [is] at least one year” (footnote omitted)). A conviction for an aggravated felony carries serious consequences under the immigration laws. It can serve as the basis for an alien’s removal from the United States, and can preclude cancellation of removal by the Attorney General. §§1227(a)(2)(A)(iii), 1229b(a)(3).

      Deportation is not punishment for a crime. Instead, deportation is sending someone home WHO HAS ALREADY RECIEVED due process for committing a crime. Deportation is sending someone home who has clearly abused their welcome.

      Like

      1. “Your example of a Korean immigrant requires a conviction. If someone is convicted for defending their home or business with a firearm, that’s the abuse of the law, not their deportation.”

        Abuse of the law is exactly my concern.
        Abuse of the law that might lead to unjust deportation on a spurious basis.
        The precedent Johnson case, for example, which was cited as the basis for this decision involved possession of a firearm.

        Like

        1. @anon

          Consider what I said to Tricia.

          There is a strong push to treat immigrants as citizens, but they ain’t. It is about as pointless as asking soldiers to treat their enemies on the battlefield the way policemen treat criminals. Nice idea, but totally impractical.

          When a citizen breaks a criminal law, they are entitled to due process.

          When a non-citizen enters our country legally, we expect them to obey our laws. When a non-citizen (whether here legally or not) breaks our laws, we follow our own laws (i.e., render that person due process) before we punish them. However, all the Constitution requires in order to send either a legal or illegal immigrant home is a directive from Congress. This directive from Congress is UNAMBIGUOUS. Even the syllabus virtually says as much.

          The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) virtually guarantees that any alien convicted of an “aggravated felony” after entering the United States will be deported.

          It does not make sense to apply the due process standards for criminal law to deportation hearings. It just ties the process up in knots.

          What are the open borders people trying to do? They are trying to make our immigration laws unenforceable. That, effectively, is the net effect of this decision. When is Congress going to get around to updating the law, much less writing an interminable list of crimes?

          Imagine trying to employ the standards we use in a courtroom for every immigration decision. Try something easy. Can you imagine trying exclude criminals from coming into the United States using due process standards? To vet immigrants, we have to use the legal records from other countries. Those records are not even in English. Many define as criminal deeds we consider normal behavior. We have no choice except to allow the people we put in charge some discretion in such matters.

          Our principle problem is electing good people, not writing perfect laws. To elect good people, we must examine our own motives, consider the candidates, study the issues, and understand how the government our forebears left us is supposed to work.

          Like

          1. Hey Citizen Tom sorry we posted at the same time so I hadn’t read this when I posted that last message.
            I’ll need to get back to it and I will post later today (I’m tied up until this evening).

            Liked by 1 person

        2. “This definition of “crime of violence” is also incorporated in the definition of “aggravated felony” in the Immigration and Nationality Act. 8 U. S. C. §1101(a)(43)(F) (“aggravated felony” includes “a crime of violence (as defined in section 16 of title 18, but not including a purely political offense) for which the term of imprisonment [is] at least one year” (footnote omitted)). A conviction for an aggravated felony carries serious consequences under the immigration laws. It can serve as the basis for an alien’s removal from the United States, and can preclude cancellation of removal by the Attorney General. §§1227(a)(2)(A)(iii), 1229b(a)(3).

          It’s important to note that the above, as written, is not what is in dispute.
          The point of contention.
          Section 16’s definition of a crime of violence is divided into two clauses which aren’t really spelled out above. From the text of the appeal:

          “Section 16’s defi- nition of a crime of violence is divided into two clauses—often referred to as the elements clause, §16(a), and the residual clause, §16(b). The residual clause, the provision at issue here, defines a “crime of violence” as “any other offense that is a felony and that, by its nature, involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person or property of another may be used in the course of commit- ting the offense.”

          The residual clause is the entire basis for the dispute. It could easily be interpreted as I describe.

          Like

          1. @Anon

            So? Language is imperfect. There is always something.

            Better is the enemy of good.

            If you want to make certain nothing gets done, insist upon perfection.

            Like

    2. @anon…..while I respect your respectful disagreement with my comment, I must respectfully disagree with yours. 😉

      I share your concerns about the abuse of power by elected officials when it comes to punishing targeted groups under vague laws, but the problem lies with the official and not the law. Even if the laws were more specific it would not help prevent that type of abuse.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Couldn’t agree more with you here Tom. I’ve been wrestling with trying to give Gorsuch the benefit of the doubt. that he’s just properly tossing the potato to congress to fix through proper legislation, but it doesn’t add up. The “crime of violence” wording doesn’t seem vague to me. It implies a crime occurred where violence was either threatened against another or it actually happened. Either way we shouldn’t feel bad about kicking people out of the country who are convicted of such crimes. Besides, aren’t there deportation hearings for those that want to plead their case? Let them do it there.

    This is almost as bad as Roberts’s declaring the Obamacare healthcare mandate was a tax.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. @Tricia

      Not sure what is up with Gorsuch. Can’t read people’s minds. I think some people just want cheap labor or cheap votes. That probably explains the other four votes. Not sure about Gorsuch. My guess is that he has good intentions, but good intentions have to implemented with wisdom. Otherwise our good intentions just get us into trouble.

      There is a strong push to treat immigrants as citizens, but they ain’t. It is about as pointless as asking soldiers to treat their enemies on the battlefield the way policemen treat criminals. Nice idea, but totally impractical.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. @Tricia

          I like to use one of my favorite Bible verse to explain our problem.

          Ecclesiastes 7:29 New King James Version (NKJV)

          29 Truly, this only I have found:
          That God made man upright,
          But they have sought out many schemes.

          Never forget our contribution. We elect these people. Even in a totalitarian state the people can overthrow their government. Requires courage (usually born of desperation, unfortunately), but it has been done.

          Liked by 1 person

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