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IDP helps educate Supreme Court of risk to immigrant domestic violence survivors of overbroad reading of a federal criminal law provision

On December 23, 2013, the Immigrant Defense Project joined with other immigrant rights’ organizations in filing an amici curiae brief before the U.S. Supreme Court in U.S. v. Castleman. In that criminal case, the federal government is asking the Court to adopt a broad reading of the “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” predicate crime provision at issue that would include even state misdemeanors that cover nonviolent conduct.

The amici brief, drafted by renowned immigration lawyer Ira Kurzban and the law firm of Kurzban, Kurzban, Weinger, Tetzeli & Pratt, urges the Court to consider the immigration law implications of the government’s reading, which it points out could lead to unintended broad applications of the similarly defined “crime of domestic violence” and “crime of violence” immigration law deportability provisions that could ensnare even domestic violence survivors.

The brief urges the Court to reject the government’s broad interpretation so as to avoid these unintended deportation consequences for domestic violence survivors and their family members convicted of low-level state offenses.

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