Deportation of immigrants has increased drastically since Mr. Trump assumed office as a result of his strict immigration policies. The deportations include minor crime issues which have therefore made a Utah lawmaker to offer lesser penalty for minor crimes.
A bill that will reduce the maximum penalty of a year to 364 days for minor crimes will be introduced during legislative sessions this week by Rep. Eric Hutchings.
The bill is a response to the federal law that states that any crime that attracts a year or more jail term is deemed a violent felony and can trigger deportation proceedings for immigrants, including legal migrants.
This federal law is not a new one but has been overly taken advantage of in president Trump’s anti-immigration moves.
Reducing the penalty for a class A misdemeanor to 364 days will save Utahans who are guilty of minor crimes, including theft and marijuana possession, from automatic deportation according to Hutchings.
He said he finds deporting immigrants on the ground of minor crimes unfair. We really need to do better, he said.
The bill is traceable to a group of 700 attorneys, called Refugee Justice League, who dedicate themselves to helping refugees who are discriminated against. James McConkie, the co-founder of the organization, said the priority of the Utah based organization during their legislative session in this year is the bill.
He said the federal law is particularly damaging for refugees who could get deported for crimes as minor as joyriding. Families are often separated this way which leaves other members struggling let alone the dangers they could be awaiting them at home, he said.
He, therefore, said the bill is quite essential.
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