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Supreme Court hears immigration cases

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court heard two cases Tuesday on the issue of whether the US government can send immigrants back to countries that have not agreed to accept them, a matter of considerable concern since the events of September 11. Jama v. INS (summary from Duke Law School) involved a Somali refugee who does not dispute the deportation but instead is arguing he should not be sent to a lawless country which is in no position to take him back. A federal judge has stayed all deportations of Somalis pending this decision. Read the opinion of the US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit here. The Court also heard arguments in Leocal v. Ashcroft (summary from Duke Law School), the case of a Haitian man fighting deportation after pleading guilty to a felony charge of drunk driving. The issue here is whether a felony of drunk driving is a "crime of violence" which allows the government to begin deportation proceedings. Read the ACLU amicus brief here [PDF]. AP has more.

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