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The myth of DUI and H.R. 4437

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  • The myth of DUI and H.R. 4437

    There is a lot of hype going on related to DUI convictions and H.R. 4437. I have argued many times on the shortcomings of this particular bill reversing years or reasoning, improvements and opinions by the court system. However, I do not understand certain people claiming that H.R. 4437 will come to destroy the lives of every single immigrant with a single conviction.
    The amendment proposed by H.R. 4437 to INA 237(a)(2) includes a new criminal ground for deportation related to DUI. The elements of the offense are:

    - The alien is arrested by driving while intoxicated (drunk driving).
    - The alien is unlawfully present at the time of the arrest (the status at the time of conviction is irrelevant).
    - The alien is convicted of DUI.
    (there's also a similar provision for failure to take the breathalizer).

    Clearly, this amendment will not affect legal aliens who are caught engaged in DUI, even if they are unlawfully present at the time of conviction provided they were legally present at the time of the commission of the offense (time of the arrest).

    Moreover, this one amendment does NOT apply retroactively. It clearly states that the modification applies to offenses that occur after the enactment of the bill.

    When it comes to this particular statute, H.R. 4437 is no news to illegal aliens arrested for DUI or any other crime for that matter. INA requires the deportation of any illegal alien, and since DUI is not a crime of violence (not even under H.R. 4437) the same avenues of relief would be available. The one change here is that it will allow USCIS more time to identify and process any illegal alien caught by law enforcement.

    If Congress wanted to deport every drunk driver they would have turned the offense into an aggravated felony, but that would contradict the opinions of the Circuit Courts and even the Supreme Court.

  • #2
    There is a lot of hype going on related to DUI convictions and H.R. 4437. I have argued many times on the shortcomings of this particular bill reversing years or reasoning, improvements and opinions by the court system. However, I do not understand certain people claiming that H.R. 4437 will come to destroy the lives of every single immigrant with a single conviction.
    The amendment proposed by H.R. 4437 to INA 237(a)(2) includes a new criminal ground for deportation related to DUI. The elements of the offense are:

    - The alien is arrested by driving while intoxicated (drunk driving).
    - The alien is unlawfully present at the time of the arrest (the status at the time of conviction is irrelevant).
    - The alien is convicted of DUI.
    (there's also a similar provision for failure to take the breathalizer).

    Clearly, this amendment will not affect legal aliens who are caught engaged in DUI, even if they are unlawfully present at the time of conviction provided they were legally present at the time of the commission of the offense (time of the arrest).

    Moreover, this one amendment does NOT apply retroactively. It clearly states that the modification applies to offenses that occur after the enactment of the bill.

    When it comes to this particular statute, H.R. 4437 is no news to illegal aliens arrested for DUI or any other crime for that matter. INA requires the deportation of any illegal alien, and since DUI is not a crime of violence (not even under H.R. 4437) the same avenues of relief would be available. The one change here is that it will allow USCIS more time to identify and process any illegal alien caught by law enforcement.

    If Congress wanted to deport every drunk driver they would have turned the offense into an aggravated felony, but that would contradict the opinions of the Circuit Courts and even the Supreme Court.

    Comment


    • #3
      There's one more interesting and little known aspect of DUI under H.R. 4437.
      Under INA unlawful presence is grounds for deportation, H.R. 4437 would add "DUI while unlawfully present" to the current construction of 237.
      However, an illegal alien who is arrested for DUI would be rendered deportable, but not inadmissible since simple DUI is not a crime involving moral turpitude. Even when deportable under 237, the illegal alien is still eligible for adjustment of status if he or she otherwise qualifies.
      One notorious part of this particular provision of H.R. 4437 is that it handles retroactivity in an impeccable way. To avoid the same issues that plagued the suspension of 212(c), the bill only considers offenses that occur after the enactment of the statute.

      Comment



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