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Recent statutory changes to the United States immigration law have resulted in a large increase in the number of lawful permanent resident noncitizens who are deported because of prior criminal conduct. Now, deportation is often a virtually automatic consequence of conviction for an increasingly minor array of crimes including possessory drug offenses and shoplifting. Under current statutory law, permanent resident noncitizens may be deported for crimes that were not grounds for deportation when they were committed and there may be no possibiilty of mercy or humanitarian relief. This Dialogue explores arguments for and against this system. Specifically, it examines the idea, rooted in history, that deportation is an unconstitutional punishment for criminal offenses.


File nameDate UploadedVisibilityFile size
6 Sep 2022
1.31 MB



  • Subject
    • Criminal Law

    • Immigration Law

    • International Law

    • Law and Society

    • Law Enforcement and Corrections

  • Journal title
    • Boston College Law Review

  • Volume
    • 41

  • Pagination
    • 771-788

  • Date submitted

    6 September 2022

  • Keywords