Wednesday, January 4, 2017
Kari Hong writes in a Washington Post op-ed, "Why Trump's Plan to Deport Criminal Noncitizens Won't Work," asserting that while Trump's purported focus on noncitizens with criminal records may seem like a softening of his immigration policy, it will, instead "be inefficient, cumbersome, expensive, unnecessary and, above all, inhumane." The op-ed identifies a number of problems with Trump's recent statements that his Administration will prioritize the removal of "criminal" noncitizens, such as the failure of the criminal justice system to effectively identify actually dangerous people and the wide reach of the criminal removal grounds; the practical impossibility of actually processing millions of persons for removal given the resources of the immigration courts; and the fact that the southern border has already become more secure.
"If Trump truly wants to focus on drug dealers, terrorists, murderers and rapists, he should call on Congress to restore immigration law’s focus on those whom prosecutors and criminal judges determined were dangerous in the first place — people who were sentenced to five years or more in prison. That’s what the law used to be, before it was changed in 1996 to cover many more crimes."
Hong has a law review article, The Absurdity of Crime-Based Deportation, which is forthcoming in the UC Davis Law Review and explores these arguments in greater detail.