Criminal Law

Crim. Law Journal Fall 2017, Vol. 17, Issue 3

DEFINING VIOLENCE: THE VAGUENESS DOCTRINE IN CRIMINAL REMOVAL LAW

By J. Domenic Martini*

Introduction

Immigration law stands at the center of the current American political conversation. While immigration law may appear to be merely arrests and removals, the removal process holds difficult complexities that implicate lesser-known constitutional doctrines and reach the heart of due process.

Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), the removal process begins with apprehension of the person and a determination of ineligibility into the United States.1 The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) must then make an administrative arrest that officially charges the person with removal as justified by the INA.2 An Immigration Judge then makes the final determination, subject to an appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) and the Circuit Court of Appeals that has jurisdiction.3 At each step in this process, an alien charged with removability is guaranteed due process of law by the Constitution.4

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