Op-Ed: DOJ Immigration Reform Must Overturn Harmful Precedent, by Andrew Wachtenheim

Law360 published an op-ed by Andrew Wachtenheim, IDP’s Supervising Litigation Attorney, analyzing a body of administrative law opinions that wrongly attach harsh and unauthorized immigration consequences to past contact with the criminal legal system, with discriminatory impact on immigrants of color.

The op-ed focuses on precedent decisions published by the Board of Immigration Appeals and Office of the Attorney General over the past 20 years that undermine state criminal system reform and post-conviction laws and policies, create impermissible and dangerous bars to asylum and withholding of removal, and otherwise impose immigration consequences that Congress did not authorize or intend.

IDP and partners have litigated against these decisions in dozens of cases, winning significant victories at the Supreme Court and the federal courts. Attorney General Merrick Garland can quickly repeal and replace the remaining opinions, and in doing so can start to ameliorate what amounts to racial discrimination on a massive scale.