Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996


Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996

The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, Pub.L. 104-208, Div. C, 110 Stat. 3009-546 (often referred to as "Ira-Ira", and sometimes abbreviated to IIRIRA) vastly changed the immigration laws of the United States.

Constitutional issues within the law

Previously, immediate deportation was triggered only for offences that could lead to five years or more in jail. Under the Act, minor offences such as shoplifting, may make an individual eligible for deportation. The Act also applies to residents who have married American citizens and have American-born children.

When IIRIRA was passed in 1996, it was applied retroactively to all those convicted of deportable offenses. This included US residents who committed minor offences decades ago.
* However, in 2001, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that Congress did not intend IIRIRA to be applied retroactively to those who pleaded guilty to a crime prior to the enactment of IIRIRA, if that person would not have been deportable at the time that he pleaded guilty. (INS v. St. Cyr).
* In spite of the 2001 ruling the way the IIRIRA law is used in practice has had so little public scrutiny and oversight so as to make its further use questionable.

In an effort to curb illegal immigration, Congress voted to double the U.S. Border Patrol to 10,000 agents over five years and mandated the construction of fences at the most heavily trafficked areas of the U.S.-Mexico border. Congress also approved a pilot program to check the immigration status of job applicants.

IIRIRA's mandatory detention provisions have also been repeatedly challenged, with less success.

ection 287(g) and relations between federal and lower levels of government

IIRIRA addressed the relationship between the federal government and local governments. Section 287(g) is a program of the act that deputizes state and local law enforcement personnel to enforce immigration matters. [Elizabeth Llorente, "Newark Killings Become Immigration Flash Point," "The Record," August 14, 2007 http://www.northjersey.com/page.php?qstr=eXJpcnk3ZjczN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXkzJmZnYmVsN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXk3MTgxNjYzJnlyaXJ5N2Y3MTdmN3ZxZWVFRXl5Ng=] ["Cobb ignoring tool aimed at illegals," "Marietta Daily Journal," August 3, 2006 http://www.mdjonline.com/articles/2006/08/03/270/10226979.prt] [http://www.ice.gov/doclib/pi/news/factsheets/060816dc287gfactsheet.pdf] This provision was implemented by local and state authorities in five states, California, Arizona, Alabama, Florida and North Carolina by the end of 2006. [Katie Zezima, "Massachusetts Set for Its Officers to Enforce Immigration Law," "New York Times," December 13, 2006 http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/13/us/13romney.html?ex=1187582400&en=26f4c2bb4c5c983c&ei=5070]

ee also

* Cambodian American Repatriation
* DREAM Act

References

External links

* [http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=104_cong_public_laws&docid=f:publ208.104.pdf Text of IIRIRA] (See pg. 547 in this document).
* Stephen Davis, "New Statesman", November 22, 2004, [http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0FQP/is_4715_133/ai_n8578746 "Deported from America"]
* [http://uscis.gov/graphics/publicaffairs/factsheets/948.htm USCIS Factsheet, March 1997]
* [http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=000&invol=00-767 INS v. St. Cyr]
* [http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=000&invol=99-7791 Zadvydas v. Davis]
* [http://uscis.gov/graphics/publicaffairs/factsheets/948.htm USCIS Summary of the Act]
* [http://www.lib.umich.edu/govdocs/text/104208.txt Text of the Act]
* [http://www.thislife.org/pages/descriptions/00/170.html "This American Life" on 'Immigration']


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