TITLE

U.S. VS. THEM: A PERSPECTIVE ON U.S. IMMIGRATION LAW ARISING FROM UNITED STATES V. ROSALES-GARCIA AND THE COMBINATION OF IMPRISONMENT AND DEPORTATION

AUTHOR(S)
Rol, Anna Natalie
PUB. DATE
April 2013
SOURCE
Denver University Law Review;Spring2013, Vol. 90 Issue 3, p769
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
This Comment centers on immigration law, specifically, U.S. immigration law. United States v. Rosales-Garcia, a recently published case from the Tenth Circuit, was the original diving board for the thoughts that follow. In Rosales-Garcia, Raul Rosales-Garcia (Rosales), an undocumented immigrant, had been deported following a state drug conviction and was caught having illegally returned to the United States. He appealed the length of his sentence for a federal conviction of illegal reentry. The district court had enhanced (increased) his sentence based on the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines. Rosales appealed the level of enhancement. While the Tenth Circuit's decision ultimately helped to clarify how sentence enhancements for Rosales and similarly situated defendants are calculated, it did not answer a more fundamental question. Prior to his illegal reentry, Mr. Rosales had been convicted of a state drug-trafficking felony. He was sentenced to ninety days in jail and three years of probation. After serving the ninety days in jail, Mr. Rosales was deported. My question is, why, if we are going to deport an immigrant, are we first bothering to imprison him? This Comment considers the importance of citizenship by looking at the roots of modem democratic civilization: ancient Greece and Rome. The Comment then looks at the birth of the United States, specifically the fact that from the beginning, this country was a nation of immigrants. Now, the original popular perception of America as a haven welcoming immigrants appears to have changed. America no longer seems so welcoming in light of the current popular perception that immigrants are dangerous. The idea of immigrants as criminals is reflected in the hostility present in current immigration law, which is set up to both punish and deport the criminally convicted immigrant. I suggest that deportation itself is more properly a punishment than a collateral consequence, and therefore the combination of deportation and imprisonment is excessive. The time has come for reform; immigration law needs to reevaluate the purposes it serves and ensure that the laws and regulations are set up to further those purposes rather than to pay tribute to hostile feelings towards the immigrants who continue to dare enter our land.
ACCESSION #
87688413

 

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