Friday, October 14, 2016

Supervised Release and Illegal Immigration: An Empty Gesture?

By Kellan B. Potts
Kellan Potts was born and raised in Opossum Creek, Tennessee. He received his bachelor’s degree from Binghamton University, graduated from Albany Law School this past spring, and is a fervent proponent of criminal defense.
While in law school, Kellan interned with the Ulster County District Attorney’s Office, the United States Department of Justice in Washington D.C., the Federal Defenders of Eastern Tennessee, and the Schenectady Public Defenders Office.
He won the ABA National Client Counseling Competition and went on to represent the United States of America in the International Client Counseling Competition, where he and his partner advanced to the semi-finals. He also won the ABA Regional Negotiation Competition, the ABA Regional Client Counseling Competition, the Donna Jo Morse Client Counseling Competition, and placed 6th in the nation at the ABA National Negotiation Competition.
Kellan currently works at O’Connell & Aronowitz doing criminal defense. In his free time he enjoys playing with his three-year old son, spending time outdoors, and watching far too many movies.
He prepared this research paper for the International Law of War & Crime seminar.

As stated in the name, "illegal immigration," being an illegal alien in the United States is a crime. Being in the United States illegally is only a civil infraction, punishable by deportation.  However coming back into the country, after being previously removed (without the permission of the Attorney General), is a felony under 8 United States Code (U.S.C.) §1326, or Reentry of Removed Aliens (commonly called Unlawful Reentry). This article will address the felony version of illegal immigration.

Specifically, this article will examine the practice of imposing a period of supervised release on defendants who are convicted of 8 U.S.C. §1326, even though every defendant who is convicted under this statute is deported at the end of their incarceration. Beginning with an examination of the laws concerning illegal immigration, this paper will argue that the imposition of supervised release on defendants who are deported is an empty gesture, one which the United States has no authority to enforce once the defendant is deported and out of the country.

Following this examination is an analysis of the 1989 Crime Omnibus Act, the law that abolished federal parole and set up supervised release in its place. After explaining how supervised release works, this article will conclude with why supervised release is not warranted in deportation cases.
To read the entire paper, open HERE.