Lack of Uniformity in the Deportation of Criminal Aliens


John Gaul, a native of Thailand, was adopted by American citizenswhen he was four years old. At the age of twenty-one, he was convicted of check fraud and of stealing a car.1 As a result of his convictions, he was deported back to Thailand. Pam Gaul, his mother, could not understand why the authorities considered him a dangerous criminal worthy of deportation Under current United States deportation law, however, an individual who moved to the United States as an infant may be deported as many as fifty years later. It may seem unfair to separate an individual from home, family, and community simply because he was born outside the United States and has committed a crime. However, in the current political climate, such concerns about fairness often give way to a blind desire to deport criminal aliens.’ The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) has made it clear that it seeks to deport more and more aliens each year. Many of those deported are “illegal” aliens, individuals who entered the United States without being lawfully admitted under United States immigration law? Another growing category of deported aliens consists of those who, like John Gaul, have been convicted of crimes.

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