Lopez v. Gonzales
- Case Date: 8/23/2006
- Project Name: Protecting America's Freedom: National Security and Defense
On December 5, 2006, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the federal government is not required to deport all aliens convicted of drug-related felonies. Rather, the Court held, a state-court drug-related felony conviction should not lead to automatic deportation unless the crime for which the alien was convicted would also have been deemed a felony under federal drug laws. The 8-1 decision was a setback for WLF, which had filed a brief urging the Court to permit the U.S. government to deport all aliens who commit felonies that are drug-related. WLF urged the Court to rule that such crimes are "aggravated felonies," which bar the alien from pleading extenuating circumstances as a reason to avoid deportation. Because his deportation is no longer deemed automatic, the alien is now permitted to apply for "cancellation of removal" and plead that extenuating circumstances should permit him to avoid deportation.
More Information and Downloads:
8/23/2006: Download the Brief
Litigation Update: Court Bars Automatic Deportation of Aliens who Commit Drug Felonies