No Mandatory Deportation for individuals with two Misdemeanor Criminal Convictions – Supreme Court

US Supreme Court voted unanimously in Carachuri-Rosendo v. Holder case, that a lawful permanent resident who is convicted of minor drug possession offenses does not warrant classification as having been convicted of an aggravated felony. As a result of this verdict, Mr. Carachuri-Rosendo cannot be deported without an opportunity to make a case for his reasoning to remain in the United States.

Individuals with two misdemeanor criminal convictions face a separate set of rules under the immigration court system. The US government had urged the Supreme Court for the adoption of a rule, which allow the immigration authorities to reclassify a misdemeanor conviction as an aggravated felony, making grounds for the mandatory deportation of a lawful permanent resident.

The Supreme Court found the idiocy in this approach, and mentioned in its decision, “It is quite unlikely that the ‘conduct’ that gave rise to Carachuri-Rosendo’s conviction would have been punished as a felony in federal court.” Applying a common sense approach, the court found that Carachuri-Rosendo’s “petty simple possession offense is not typically thought of as an ‘aggravated felony.'”

Now, it is congress’s turn to follow the Supreme Court’s lead and restore immigration Judges’ discretion to take into account the individual circumstances of each case before taking the drastic measure of ordering a person deported.

Click here to read the detailed verdict of Supreme Court.

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