kenault lawrence

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U.S.: Coalition Demands Due Process For Father Deported For Minor Marijuana Convictions

KenaultLawrenceAndSon[Change.org]

A coalition of immigrant rights and criminal justice reform advocacy organizations are calling on Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Office of Chief Counsel to allow green card holder Garfield Kenault Lawrence, who was deported away from his U.S. Citizen wife and child to Jamaica, to reopen his immigration case.

After a year of being held in an immigration detention prison (including during the birth of his first child), Kenault (A# 045 612 966) was wrongfully deported in 2013 based on an incorrect legal standard applied by an immigration judge who labeled his two minor 2009 marijuana convictions to be “drug trafficking aggravated felonies.”

However, just a few months later, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Moncrieffe v. Holder that “characterize[ing] a low-level drug offense as 'illicit trafficking in a controlled substance,' and thus an 'aggravated felony' . . . defies the 'commonsense conception' of these terms."

Despite this clear decision, ICE is refusing to reopen his case so that he can have a proper hearing under the correct law, and is fighting his lawyers’ attempts by claiming that too much time has passed.

“An Immigration judge got the law wrong and fractured an American family when he ordered Kenault deported,” said Heidi Altman, legal director of the Capital Area Immigrant Rights Coalition. "We call on ICE to right this wrong by allowing Kenault to come home and have his day in court."

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