March 6, 2021
Fighting deportation just got a little harder
Every year, numerous immigrants residing in Michigan and elsewhere face removal for committing certain crimes. Some of them can avoid deportation if the government is unable to prove their crimes are worthy of removal. However, a recent ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court may make it harder for immigrants to fight deportation.
Near the end of 2020, the Supreme Court heard a case of a man who has lived in the country as an undocumented immigrant for 25 years but was facing deportation for using a fake Social Security card to obtain employment. At the state level, he pleaded no contest and was fined $100. The court also ruled he committed a crime of moral turpitude and was subject to deportation, which made him ineligible for deportation relief.
After the Supreme Court heard the case, the judges ruled that this individual failed to prove his crime was not one of moral turpitude, and his request for deportation relief was denied. What is new in this case is the court put the burden of proof on the immigrant and not the government. This is a reversal from how things are usually handled and has set a dangerous precedent.
The case described briefly above does not bode well for immigrants in Michigan and elsewhere who are facing similar circumstances. This does not mean they should stop fighting for deportation relief. It may be harder to obtain with the burden of proof being placed on them, but it is not impossible to achieve. Thankfully, those facing crime-related removal proceedings do not have to navigate the legal system on their own. With the assistance of an experienced immigration attorney, they can utilize every available avenue to seek deportation relief.