Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Immigration, Race and Incarceration in the United States

The ABA Commission on Immigration hosted a panel on incarceration and race at the ABA annual meeting in Chicago. A recap of the panel can be found here

Margaret Stock, moderator of the panel titled “Immigration, Race and Incarceration in the United States,” explained that the rising levels of incarceration of Hispanics are mainly due to an increase in immigration enforcement. Investigative journalist Maria Hinojosa presented clips from her documentary Lost in Detention, in which she revealed how the Obama administration’s immigration policy has contributed not only to higher levels of imprisonment, but also to the deportation of non-criminal immigrants and hidden abuse in detention centers. Sara Elizabeth Dill, an immigration and criminal attorney, shared her experience in representing immigrants and noted that the discrepancies between the immigration and criminal justice systems expose the flaws of a broken judicial system, because immigrants don’t have access to appropriate counsel. Lisa Marquardt, Maryland office of the public defender, called for the restoration of judicial recommendations against deportation. JRAD was part of the Immigration Nationality Act on 1952 that allowed a judge in a criminal case the discretionary authority to prevent deportation of a noncitizen.



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