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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

NINTH CIRCUIT: DRIVE DRUNK WITHOUT A LICENSE AND YOU'LL BE DEPORTED

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The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, traditionally the most pro-immigration of the federal circuits, has issued an opinion that could make many immigrants potentially removable. The court held that while a drunk driving conviction was not a moral turpitude offense (which could result in deportation), a conviction for driving drunk while lacking a drivers license would be a moral turpitude offense. Now that it is getting increasingly difficult to obtain a driver's license, the odds of a drunk driving conviction resulting in deportation will increase.



On a personal note, I have to say I'm pretty intolerant of drunk driving and don't have a lot of sympathy for people who put everyone's lives around them in danger unnecessarily. While I don't generally take a deportation lightly, particularly when it breaks up a family, hopefully this case will send a powerful message that driving drunk will ruin your chances of ever becoming an American.

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