President Obama to Announce Immigration Reform Steps Tomorrow Night

Posted on November 19, 2014 by Kathryn N. Karam

The White House has announced the President Obama will address the country tomorrow night to explain "commonsense steps" President Obama plans to take regarding immigration reform. The announcement will air tomorrow night, November 20th at 8 PM Eastern Time.

Fifth Circuit Holds that Voluntary Departure Means Voluntarily Deportation for Sentence Enhancement

Posted on July 08, 2014 by Kathryn N. Karam

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that a person who was granted voluntary departure by an immigration judge and left in compliance with that order was considered to have “voluntarily deported” for purposes of a sentencing enhancement following a subsequent immigration crime conviction. In U.S. v. Murillo Acosta, individual in question pled guilty to using a fraudulent visa to enter the U.S. in violation of federal laws. The sentencing judge increased his offense level under the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines by two levels. The sentencing enhancement provision used applies to an individual who is in the U.S. without authorization and “has been deported (voluntarily or involuntarily) on one or more occasions prior to the instant offense.” The issue before the Fifth Circuit was whether Murillo-Acosta’s voluntary departure constitutes a “voluntary or involuntary” deportation. In a three-page opinion, the court held that it does not matter whether a formal order of removal was issued: a voluntary departure is treated as a deportation for purposes of the sentencing guidelines.

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