1 REFORMING CRIMINAL JUSTICE: INTRODUCTION AND CRIMINALIZATION (Erik Luna ed., 2017)
14 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2017 Last revised: 12 Oct 2017
Date Written: October 11, 2017
Over the past two decades, criminal justice systems at both the federal and the state level have been repurposed to serve immigration enforcement goals. Many significant problems in the criminal justice system have been both mirrored in and amplified by this criminalization of immigration. Generous immigration reform and the decriminalization of many migration-related offenses are needed to address the resulting problems comprehensively. But more limited reforms within state and federal criminal enforcement systems can help mitigate some of the biggest problems in the current system. This chapter recommends that all law enforcement agencies develop legal guidelines and training that discourage reliance on racial profiling in immigration policing, that states and localities prioritize their own state public safety goals over cooperation with federal immigration enforcement efforts when such efforts undermine those goals, and that state and local laws and practices be revised so as to send appropriate signals of leniency to immigration adjudicators and enforcement agents.
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