House passes deportation bill defining ‘violent crimes’

If an immigrant in Kentucky or elsewhere in the United States commits what constitutes a “crime of violence” under federal immigration law, that immigrant may be deported. The definition of what exactly falls under “crimes of violence” for the purposes of federal immigration law has been called into question lately, and the government is taking action to clarify what that phrase means.

A deportation bill has been passed by the U.S. House of Representatives that brings clarification to the definition of “violent crimes” for the purposes of deporting non-citizens. Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court said the law as it is currently worded is too vague. Current law uses the phrase “crime of violence,” with regards to the deportation of immigrants who have committed one. Under the recently passed bill, over 12 specific crimes were named that, if committed by a non-citizen, would allow for the deportation of the non-citizen. Some of these crimes include robbery, assault and murder.

The bill now needs to be approved by the Senate before it can reach the President’s desk. As of right now, the Senate Judiciary Committee has not yet taken up the bill, and Senate leaders have not made public whether they will address the bill in 2018. So, while President Trump has tweeted his support of the bill, it is not yet certain whether it will be signed into law.

For the purposes of federal immigration law, as it stands now, Congress is still grappling with what constitutes a violent crime that could result in deportation. It is an important issue, as it could affect non-citizens in the U.S. who have committed a crime. Since any deportation case can be complex, if a person has a question about the status of this law or other immigration laws, they may want to seek legal guidance.



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