The Loss of Discretion in Immigration Enforcement

The Loss of Discretion in Immigration Enforcement

Although Trump has made good on his promise to deport non-citizens with criminal records by steadily increasing the number of these deportations, he also has deported more and more immigrants with no criminal record at all. The skyrocketing number of deportations of non-criminal immigrants has led many to question whether the Trump administration is using its “limited resources” to truly focus on criminals, rather than simply deporting anyone they happen to find. As one law professor points out in a recent article on rollcall.com, there is no possible way that immigration officials can deport all non-citizens, which is why the federal government traditionally has exercised discretion in choosing whom to deport. Under the Trump administration, however, the exercise of discretion appears to have disappeared altogether. For example, immigration agents made the news recently when they stopped a vehicle containing a ten-year-old undocumented girl with cerebral palsy, who was traveling with a U.S. citizen relative to a Texas hospital for gallbladder surgery. The girl, who was brought to the U.S. to live as an infant, was taken into custody following her surgery, and then released with a notice to appear in immigration court. Observers of immigration enforcement policies point to this incident as evidence that immigration officials are no longer exercising any sort of discretion in enforcing immigration laws. Rather, the immigration agents are simply searching for any undocumented immigrant they can find, no matter if it is a 10-year-old disabled girl traveling to a hospital for surgery or an immigrant who has been convicted of multiple felonies and been deported on three previous occasions. As the Trump administration’s failure to use any sort of discretion in detaining and deporting undocumented immigrants continues, we are here to help you and your family should one of you fall prey to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials. At Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C., we are dedicated to protecting the rights of noncitizens who are detained and working toward their release from detention, regardless of the type of deportation charges an individual may be facing. We know how to evaluate your case, explore your options, and provide you with the strongest defense against removal possible. Contact your California deportation defense attorneys today and set up an appointment to speak with our legal team.
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