There are many things that a person who immigrates to the United States must consider when they are going through the process of applying to come or are trying to fight a removal. The guidelines for these cases change often, partly because Attorney General William Barr can issue rulings in an instant about how immigration courts can interpret laws.
The reason he can do this is that the immigration courts aren’t part of the judiciary branch of government. Instead, they fall under the executive branch. They are part of the Department of Justice, which means that Attorney General Barr is the head judge, as well as the top prosecutor.
When he writes a new certification, it essentially changes components of the immigration system without having to go through the process of developing new regulations or passing new laws. Two new certifications were set by him in October of 2019.
One of these is that a person who has two or more drunk driving convictions is considered to not have good moral character. This is a negative thing for some people because this is one of the most common criminal convictions that people who face Immigration and Customs Enforcement proceedings have on their record, so this has a huge impact on immigration in this country.
The other is that states won’t be able to influence immigration decisions for low-level crimes. In some states, including California, courts have been able to set low-level criminal sentences to below a trigger length for deportation hearings. The certification reduces the state’s ability to do this.
As time progresses, things might continue to shift in the area of immigration law, particularly for deportations. For anyone with a part in the immigration system, learning about these changes is critical. Having an attorney on your side who is familiar with them is beneficial since some of these are complex.