Back in April, Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch was the deciding vote that shot down the Trump Regime's plans to assume basically all crimes were deportation-worthy "crimes of violence".
In a 5-to-4 decision Tuesday, the court overturned the deportation of a 25-year legal U.S. resident from the Philippines who was convicted of two burglaries.
James Dimaya came to the U.S. at age 13 as a legal permanent resident. More than two decades later — after he was convicted of two home burglaries in California and sentenced to a total of four years in prison — the government sought his deportation under a "violent crime" immigration law, though neither of Dimaya's crimes involved violence. The statute defines a violent crime as one involving force or the "substantial risk" of force.
The Supreme Court, however, said that language is so vague that it invites arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement.
At the time, I noted Ian Millhiser warning that Gorsuch only did so out of a desire to cripple the federal government's regulatory capacity beyond verbatim what Congress allowed it. That's a double-edged sword, as Congress does have to define what the law is in order to be enforced, Gorsuch wrote in his concurrence.
On Friday, the House took the first steps towards doing just that.
The House on Friday passed a bill that would restore the federal government's ability to deport immigrants for a wide variety of violent criminal offenses in a vote that won quick praise from President Trump.
The Community Safety and Security Act aims to address an April Supreme Court ruling that found that the federal definition of a “crime of violence,” which under immigration law prompts the mandatory deportation of a noncitizen, is impermissibly vague. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Karen Handel (R-Ga.), specifically enumerates more than a dozen crimes that would qualify.
The bill passed 247-152, largely along party lines.
Democrats objected to the bill for being rushed to the floor without hearings or an amendment process in committee, though 29 broke ranks and supported it; four libertarian-oriented Republicans opposed it.
Trump tweeted his approval of the legislation early Friday afternoon: “House GOP just passed a bill to increase our ability to deport violent felons (Crazy Dems opposed). Need to get this bill to my desk fast!"
Among the offenses that would be considered a “crime of violence” under the bill: “murder, voluntary manslaughter, assault, sexual abuse or aggravated sexual abuse, abusive sexual contact, child abuse, kidnapping, robbery, carjacking, firearms use, burglary, arson, extortion, communication of threats, coercion, fleeing, interference with flight crew members and attendants, domestic violence, hostage taking, stalking, human trafficking, piracy, or a terrorism offense” defined elsewhere in federal law.
Also qualifying would be any offense involving illegal explosives or weapons of mass destruction or involving “the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person or property of another."
All of those would become deportable offenses under the law. Most of them definitely fit "crimes of violence". But "communication of threats" and "fleeing" along with "the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person or property of another" is all extremely vague, and that's going to mean that saying mean things about Trump or fleeing an ICE raid means you go away if you're a non-citizen.
And we already have the Trump regime openly questioning American citizenship now.
You can guess where all this is going.
This bill needs to die in the Senate, but I'm not sure it will.