October 4, 2006, - 1:47 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on two important companion cases that could change the wave of alien deportations for the better . . . or for the worse, Lopez v. Gonzales and Toledo-Flores v. United States. The transcript of the oral arguments is here.
Although both Jose Antonio Lopez and Reymundo Toledo-Flores, both Mexican nationals were legal immigrants, they were convicted in drug crimes–Lopez of aiding and abetting possession of cocaine and Toledo-Flores of possessing cocaine.
At issue is whether anti-drug and immigration laws can be used to deport aliens based on drug-possession offenses. Is a drug-possession offense that is a felony under state law (but a misdemeanor under federal law) rise to the level of “illicit trafficking,” making it an “aggravated felony” and requiring mandatory deportation for a legal immigrant who is not a U.S. citizen?
Thanks, Bader Ginsburg: More of This . . .
Leads to More of This.
If so, that means that aliens convicted for such drug offenses can be routinely deported and cannot appeal to an immigration judge (which ends up in years of appeals thereafter).
The federal government, represented in court by Deputy U.S. Solicitor General Edward Kneedler, argued that Congress wrote the deportation laws with the words “any felony” to mean that any felony triggers the automatic deportation. Unfortunately, right now, appellate courts in several circuits have come out with conflicting opinions. Some misguided, activist judges apparently believe that Congress doesn’t mean what it says in the laws it passes.
It’s imperative that Justices vote that any felony, whether under State or Federal law, should result in automatic deportation. Otherwise, we will have an even more endless backlog of illegal aliens here for years until they exhaust endless appeals. Ask any Detention and Removal Operations official at ICE (Immigration & Customs Enforcement), and they’ll tell you:
This will simply make their jobs tougher. And we will be stuck with more criminals in our midst. Additionally, we simply do not have the bed space for these people while they await years-long appeals. And most of them are mandatory imprisonment cases.
As I noted in April, Detroit Free Press reporter Dawson Bell reported that the State of Michigan alone pays tens of thousands of dollars to imprison aliens we should be deporting. Watch for those dollar figures to go up–in every state–should the Supes vote the wrong way.
And aside from that, do you want coke (or other hard drug) users and dealers becoming citizens because they got off on a technicality of state law versus federal law. A felony is a felony. A druggie is an undesirable resident or citizen.
Already Suprematrix Ruth Bader Ginsburg has hinted her ill-advised vote, with her comments in yesterday’s oral arguments:
“It seems to me unseemly in the immigration context.”
Ditto for Supe David Souter (thanks, Pops Bush!) who expressed doubt over the government’s position.
But this is not about what is “seemly” or “unseemly.” This isn’t about the Emily Post Institute of etiquette. It’s about addressing a national security crisis or exacerbating it.
Justices Roberts, Alito, and Scalia look like good votes in the right direction. Hopefully two more will get some good sense.
Or look for more illegal alien criminals within our borders . . . and on the streets.
Tags: Congress, David Souter, Dawson Bell, Debbie Schlussel Yesterday, Detroit Free Press, Edward Kneedler, Emily Post Institute, federal government, federal law, Gonzales, immigration judge, Jose Antonio Lopez, Michigan, Pops Bush, Removal Operations official, reporter, Reymundo Toledo-Flores, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Solicitor General, State law, Supreme Court, Toledo, United States