Published on Wed, Feb 20, 2013
An IPC report was cited in a recent article in the Washington Post on the Obama administrations push to give judges more leeway in deciding who can be deported:
"Under current law, non-citizen immigrants convicted of what’s known as an “aggravated felony” face automatic penalties that make it far harder for them to be spared from deportation. While the term suggests a crime of a serious and violent nature, the definition of an “aggravated felony” has been expanded over the years, to the point where it includes crimes that are neither “aggravated” nor “felonies.” Obama’s draft immigration bill would narrow the definition of an aggravated felony by giving immigration judges greater discretion to grant leniency to individual immigrants convicted of minor offenses.
Originally, only a small handful of serious crimes were classified as “aggravated felonies” in immigration law, but the definition was expanded in 1996 to encompass a host of other more minor offenses. “As initially enacted in 1988, the term ‘aggravated felony’ referred only to murder, federal drug trafficking, and illicit trafficking of certain firearms and destructive devices,” explains  a brief from the Immigration Policy Center, an immigration advocacy group. “Today, the definition of ‘aggravated felony’ covers more than thirty types of offenses, including simple battery, theft, filing a false tax return, and failing to appear in court.”"
Published in the Washington Post