U.S. Supreme Court rules criminal immigrant can be deported in big win for President Trump

By Jason Hopkins

The Supreme Court sided with the Trump administration on Thursday, finding that the government can deport criminal immigrants from the United States even if they have been living legally in the country for a long time.

In a split 5-4 decision, the Court’s conservative bloc agreed with the administration that Andre Martello Barton, a non-citizen from Jamaica, is eligible for deportation after being charged with drug and firearm offenses, despite him living in the United States since the 1980s. The decision makes it more difficult for green card holders with criminal offenses in the United States to fight deportation orders.

Barton’s crimes made him eligible for removal, but he argued that he was not, citing a 1996 law that allows some long-term legal residents to avoid deportation. Under the law touted by Barton’s legal team, green card holders can request to have their deportation orders repealed if they’ve been living in the United States continuously for at least seven years.

The Supreme Court’s majority, however, ruled that legal residents who have committed certain crimes before reaching this “inadmissible” period can be deported.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh, writing for the Court’s majority opinion, wrote that “when a lawful permanent resident has amassed a criminal record of this kind,” the country’s immigration laws deem them ineligible to request to remain in the United States.

“Removal of a lawful permanent resident from the United States is a wrenching process, especially in light of the consequences for family members,” Kavanaugh stated.

“Congress made a choice, however, to authorize removal of non-citizens — even lawful permanent residents — who have committed certain serious crimes,” he continued. “And Congress also made a choice to categorically preclude cancellation of removal for noncitizens who have substantial criminal records. Congress may of course amend the law at any time. In the meantime, the Court is constrained to apply the law as enacted by Congress.”

Kavanaugh was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch and Samuel Alito.

The decision marked a major win for the White House, and also notably expands the grounds for removal of legal immigrants who have committed serious crimes within the first seven years of their arrival into the United States.

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Image courtesy of Supreme Court of the United States

5 thoughts on “U.S. Supreme Court rules criminal immigrant can be deported in big win for President Trump

  1. It’s interesting (at least for those legal geeks out there) to read Sotomayor’s dissenting opinion and her cited distinctions between the definitions of “inadmissible”, “deportable” and “removable”. OTOH, it’s more concerning that her sophistic logic was supported by 4 of the 9 justices… a proverbial ‘close call’. This case exemplifies the difference between “Originalist” justices (Kavanaugh, Gorsuch, Thomas) and those supporting so-called “Living constitutionalism” (Sotomayor, Kagan, Breyer).

    The SCOTUS, since its founding, have made several convoluted decisions reflecting political expediency (“Living constitutionalism”) over legal principle (“Originalism”) from time to time. Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. 393, being one of the most egregious.

    The concern today rests with the philosophy that what the law actually says can be interpreted to mean something distinctly different because ‘times have changed’. This is pure Sophistry. The concern is that for Sotomayor and the others to make these assumptions is to open the proverbial Pandora’s Box of unmitigated and unpredictable legislative consequences. In a word, “Living constitutionalism” is Anarchy. And we remain just this close to realizing it.

  2. This will finally start to clean out the rubbish from the closets, throw it back to where it came from, no matter how long it has been stinking in the closets.

    It is amazing this logic was not implemented 30 years ago!

    The US should allow only educated, trained and experienced people to enter, who would raise help US standards, and make the US more competitive, instead of the illegal, grab-bag, riff-raff from s.o. countries, who render the US increasingly dysfunctional, by modern

    Oh, but wait, the Dem/Progs love those illegals, protect them, coddle them, because they need a lot of government programs, run by Dem/Prog flunkies, which ensures Dem/Prog votes and power and Veto-proof control, for ever and ever.

  3. I can’t believe that this common-sense issue had to go to the Supreme Court,
    and apparently four of the Justices have no common sense !!

    May God, Illegal, and a Criminal, and you have to ask the SC for a ruling !! They
    do understand that being here ” Illegally ” is a crime in its self ??

    I guess we only need to follow the laws we like.

    • But you must keep in mind that everyone (legally here or not), with their feet on U.S. ground, has the right to ‘due process’. Yes, they may have committed a crime. But innocence is presumed until ‘due process’ proves otherwise. Luckily, for now at least, the SCOTUS (the final legal word) says ‘due process’ deportation is based on what the law says, not on what political expedience for some would like it to say to achieve whatever political motive they have. For now, at least, we are continuing ‘to follow the law’.

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