US Cities adopting creative ways to protect immigrants from being deported


WASHINGTON, May 25 (APP): As the Trump administration comes hard on immigrants leading to spike in deportation, US cities are adopting creative ways to protect legal immigrants who can face deportation even for committing relatively minor crimes.
Under the prevailing laws, even legal immigrants if they commit a crime
that carry a punishment of 365 days or above can be deported.
The city of Denver recently passed a law that reduced the punishment for relatively petty crimes to less than 365 days, saving them from the law that would have forced their deportation. The law has resultantly takes the crimes and their perpetrators off the radar of immigration authorities.
The law is a direct response to President Trump’s crackdown on
undocumented immigrants who have seen a significant rise in deportation in recent months. The new administration has even included crimes to justify deportation which were not there during President Barack Obama’s tenure.
The law passed by Denver, does not effect more serious crimes and does not protect undocumented immigrants.
Even a low-level crimes such as shoplifting or trespassing, if they
carry a potential offense of one year can cause those immigrants, guilty of committing such crimes, to be deported. That means even someone living in the country with a green card or student visa can be deported for such misdemeanors.
In recent decades, thousands of legal resident have been deported for
relatively minor crimes, though the previous Obama administration let the low-level offender off the hook. But under the Trump administration, immigrants are increasingly under threat of deportation not matter if they are legal or not, advocates said.
The Mayor of Denver, who proposed the sentencing revisions, said the new law will help “keep families together by ensuring low level offenses, like park curfew, are not a deportation too.”
Previously, nearly all municipal crimes in Denver carried a maximum sentence of 365 days.
Under the new law, crimes including shoplifting, trespassing, the first
or second instance of domestic violence, and simple assault will now be eligible for a maximum 300 days in jail. Even pettier offenses, such as public urination, and curfew violations would merit up to 60 days.
Many cities and States have promised to resist Trump administration’s
executive orders which are aimed at cracking down on immigration and travel.
The federal Justice Department, on the other hand, is seeking laws that
will limit funding to these so-called “sanctuaries cities, which refuse to cooperate with the federal immigration agents in detaining illegal immigrants.
As part of its budget proposal, the Justice Department is pushing to
change federal law to make States and local authorities cooperate with federal immigration officials upon request. The proposed law would prevent cities from making policies that seek to resist requests from the Department of Homeland Security to detain aliens.