Ruling on deportation of convicted refugees [US SC]

Jama v. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Supreme Court of the United States, January 12, 2005, [ruling that a refugee living in the US could be deported after receiving a criminal conviction, even if their country of destination does not consent to the repatriation]. Excerpt [per Justice Scalia]:

To infer an absolute rule of acceptance where Congress has not clearly set it forth would run counter to our customary policy of deference to the President in matters of foreign affairs. Removal decisions, including the selection of a removed alien's destination, "may implicate our relations with foreign powers" and require consideration of "changing political and economic circumstances." Mathews v. Diaz, 426 U.S. 67, 81 (1976). Congress has already provided a way for the Attorney General to avoid removals that are likely to ruffle diplomatic feathers, or simply to prove futile. At each step in the selection process, he is empowered to skip over a country that resists accepting the alien, or a country that has declined to provide assurances that its border guards will allow the alien entry.

Nor is it necessary to infer an acceptance requirement in order to ensure that the Attorney General will give appropriate consideration to conditions in the country of removal. If aliens would face persecution or other mistreatment in the country designated under §1231(b)(2), they have a number of available remedies: asylum, §1158(b)(1); withholding of removal, §1231(b)(3)(A); relief under an international agreement prohibiting torture, see 8 CFR §§208.16(c)(4), 208.17(a) (2004); and temporary protected status, 8 U.S.C. § 1254a(a)(1). These individualized determinations strike a better balance between securing the removal of inadmissible aliens and ensuring their humane treatment than does petitioner's suggestion that silence from Mogadishu inevitably portends future mistreatment and justifies declining to remove anyone to Somalia.
Read the full text of the opinion here [PDF]. Reported in JURIST's Paper Chase here.

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