Inclusive Immigrant Justice: Racial Animus and the Origins of Crime-Based Deportation

Report Author: 
Alina Das
Original Date of Publication: 
July, 2017

The merger of immigration and criminal law has transformed both systems, amplifying the flaws in each. In critiquing this merger, most scholarly accounts begin with legislative changes in the 1980s and 1990s that vastly expanded criminal grounds of deportation and eliminated many forms of discretionary relief. As a result of these changes, immigrant communities have experienced skyrocketing rates of detention and deportation, with a disparate impact on people of color. Despite increasing awareness of the harshness of the modern system, however, many people still view criminal records as a relatively neutral mechanism for identifying immigrants as priorities for detention and deportation. Drawing on the early history of crime-based deportation, this essay argues that criminal records have never been a neutral means for prioritizing immigrants for detention and deportation from the United States. Rather, as this essay sets forth, racial animus has driven the creation and development of crime-based deportation from the beginning.

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 Racial Animus and the Origins of Crime-Based Deportation

Citation: 

Das, A. (2017). Inclusive Immigrant Justice: Racial Animus and the Origins of Crime-Based Deportation. NYU School of Law, Public Law Research Paper, 17(40), 21.

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