The Role of the U.S. Constitution and Immigrant’s Rights: Removal of Remedies and the Admission of a Sixth Amendment Right to Counsel

For almost 100 years, Congress has expanded the array of deportable offenses, while simultaneously removing almost all forms of relief for noncitizens. Today, a noncitizen is automatically deportable for an aggravated felony conviction, as defined by Congress. However, the actual offense need not be aggravated, a felony, or a conviction for immigration purposes. For example, a Texas misdemeanor theft charge with twelve months deferred adjudication probation is an aggravated felony conviction for immigration purposes. It is irrelevant that the actual offense was a misdemeanor, non-aggravated, and not a conviction.