ILW.COM - the immigration portal Immigration Daily

Home Page

Immigration Daily


Processing times

Immigration forms

Discussion board



Twitter feed

Immigrant Nation


CLE Workshops

Immigration books

Advertise on ILW

VIP Network




Connect to us

Make us Homepage



The leading
immigration law
publisher - over
50000 pages of
free information!
© 1995-
Immigration LLC.

View RSS Feed

Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal

Human Rights Watch Reports on Damaging Impact of Clinton's Immigration Law

Rate this Entry
Human Rights Watch reports on the last 20 years of abuses that have stemmed from Bill Clinton's 1996 immigration law. I have written about this on multiple occasions (See: The Clinton's connection to for profit deportation jails, and The Refugee Hypocrisy of Hillary Clinton).

From Human Rights Watch:

President Bill Clinton signed the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, known as AEDPA, on April 24, 1996. The legislation, passed in the aftermath of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, greatly expanded the grounds for detaining and deporting immigrants, including long-term legal residents. It was the first US law to authorize certain now-widely-used fast-track deportation procedures.

The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA), signed in September 1996, made further sweeping changes to immigration laws. It eliminated key defenses against deportation and subjected many more immigrants, including legal permanent residents, to detention and deportation. IIRIRA defined a greatly expanded range of criminal convictions – including relatively minor, nonviolent ones – for which legal permanent residents could be automatically deported. IIRIRA also made it much more difficult for people fleeing persecution to apply for asylum.

Over the last two decades, Human Rights Watch has documented how these laws rip apart the families of even long-term legal residents via the broad swath of criminal convictions considered triggers for automatic deportation or detention.

The following Human Rights Watch reports document harm caused by the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act.

Locked Away: Immigration Detainees in Jails in the United States, September 1, 1998. Found that the then-new mandatory detention obligations of the 1996 laws drastically increased the use of immigration detention and that the US Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) was holding more than half of its detainees in jails, where they are subjected to punitive treatment.

Family, Unvalued
: Discrimination, Denial, and the Fate of Binational Same-Sex Couples under U.S. Law, May 1, 2006. Documented how AEDPA’s bar on asylum applications filed more than one year after an asylum seeker’s arrival harms people making claims based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Forced Apart
: Families Separated and Immigrants Harmed by United States Deportation Policy, July 16, 2007. Documented how the substantial expansion of the criminal grounds for deportation in 1996 devastates communities across the nation, targeting not only undocumented immigrants but also long-term lawful permanent residents – green card holders – as well.

Forced Apart (By the Numbers)
: Non-Citizens Deported Mostly for Nonviolent Offenses, April 15, 2009. Found that three quarters of non-citizens deported, mostly due to the 1996 laws, after serving criminal sentences were convicted of nonviolent offenses, and that one in five had been in the country legally, some for decades.

Locked Up Far Away
: The Transfer of Immigrants to Remote Detention Centers in the United States, December 2, 2009. Found that the 1996 laws made many more non-citizens subject to deportation and made it much more difficult for them to defend themselves.

Deportation by Default
: Mental Disability, Unfair Hearings, and Indefinite Detention in the US Immigration System, July 25, 2010. Documented how the mandatory detention provisions of the 1996 laws cause unnecessary detention of people with mental disabilities, leading to abuses.

Tough, Fair, and Practical
: A Human Rights Framework for Immigration Reform in the United States, July 8, 2010. Called for immigration reform that repeals the 1996 provisions authorizing fast-track deportations, limitations on the use of reasonable discretion for immigration judges, and arbitrary detention.

Costly and Unfair
: Flaws in US Immigration Detention Policy, May 6, 2010. Described the “relatively unchecked” powers given to immigration enforcement authorities under the 1996 laws to detain many immigrants for prolonged periods.

Within Reach
: A Roadmap for US Immigration Reform, May 1, 2013. Called for a US immigration system that respects and protects families and ensures due process.

At Least Let Them Work
: The Denial of Work Authorization and Assistance for Asylum Seekers in the United States, November 12, 2013. Showed how IIRIRA prevents asylum seekers from working for at least six months, and often for years, while their claims are pending.

Torn Apart
: Families and US Immigration Reform, July 24, 2014. Highlighted dramatic photographs of some of the millions of families affected by the 1996 laws.

You Don’t Have Rights Here
: US Border Screenings and Returns of Central Americans to Risk of Serious Harm, October 16, 2014. Documented how fast-track border deportation procedures authorized by the 1996 laws deny migrants a genuine opportunity to claim asylum and place them at serious risk of harm.

A Price Too High
: US Families Torn Apart by Deportations for Drug Offense, June 16, 2015. Documented how the 1996 laws prompt the US to routinely open deportation proceedings against legal residents and other immigrants with strong ties to US families.

Do You See How Much I’m Suffering Here?
: Abuse against Transgender Women in US Immigration Detention, March 23, 2016. Documented how the 1996 provisions on mandatory detention and fast-track deportations contribute to unnecessary detention and harm to transgender women.

Submit "Human Rights Watch Reports on Damaging Impact of Clinton's Immigration Law" to Facebook Submit "Human Rights Watch Reports on Damaging Impact of Clinton's Immigration Law" to Twitter Submit "Human Rights Watch Reports on Damaging Impact of Clinton's Immigration Law" to Google Submit "Human Rights Watch Reports on Damaging Impact of Clinton's Immigration Law" to StumbleUpon Submit "Human Rights Watch Reports on Damaging Impact of Clinton's Immigration Law" to Reddit Submit "Human Rights Watch Reports on Damaging Impact of Clinton's Immigration Law" to Digg Submit "Human Rights Watch Reports on Damaging Impact of Clinton's Immigration Law" to

Updated 04-28-2016 at 12:57 PM by MKolken


  1. king002's Avatar
Put Free Immigration Law Headlines On Your Website

Immigration Daily: the news source for legal professionals. Free! Join 35000+ readers Enter your email address here: