When it comes to undocumented immigrants accused of crimes, prosecutors are facing a complicated dilemma. For example, imagine that an undocumented immigrant is accused of drunk driving. This is a serious crime that comes with serious consequences for those who are convicted; however, for an undocumented immigrant the consequences of conviction are even more severe than for an average person.
Imagine that an undocumented immigrant has children, and he or she is in the United States illegally, and gets arrested and convicted of drunk driving. Not only will this person face the threat of the usual DUI punishments, but he or she could also face the threat of permanent deportation and potentially being separated from his or her children.
When prosecutors bring forward an action against an undocumented immigrant they now face this kind of dilemma. Is the threat of lifetime deportation -- which is like a prison in a way -- a just result for someone who is guilty of committing what, in most contexts, would be considered a very minor crime following an isolated lapse in judgment? This ethical situation could bring a potential area of conflict between states and the federal government as White House policies begin to change how undocumented immigrants are treated in different legal scenarios.
Were you accused of a crime as an undocumented immigrant in Connecticut? You may want to take your criminal defense seriously because -- if you are convicted -- it could result in more severe consequences, such as deportation, than the punishments associated with your offense alone.
Source: The New York Times, "Prosecutors’ Dilemma: Will Conviction Lead to ‘Life Sentence of Deportation’?," Vivian Yee, July 31, 2017