Sidebar – Dharun Ravi’s sentence

Okay, I haven’t been paying close attention to the criminal case against Dharun Ravi (who secretly taped his gay college roommate’s sexual encounter and then posted it on YouTube, which contributed to his roommate’s suicide).  But I’m seeing new articles and tweets about how 30 days isn’t enough although deportation would have been draconian.

Stop.  Just stop.  Regardless of the wrong he did Tyler Clementi, deportation is not a form of punishment that can be imposed by a criminal court.  Immigration is a federal issue, and deportation proceedings (or removal proceedings pursuant to a Notice to Appear rather than deportation’s Order to Show Cause) are not and cannot be held in a state court.  Completely different mechanism, completely different judicial system, completely different bureaucracy.  That’s not to say that Ravi couldn’t still be deported or removed based on whatever the ultimate criminal conviction is — is it a crime involving moral turpitude or a crime that would be classified as an aggravated felony regardless of sentence? — but the court imposing his sentence had no authority to deport him.

*steps off soapbox*

(Standard disclaimer: the above should not be construed to be legal advice or to create an attorney-client privilege with anyone.  If you need immigration advice, you should consult with an attorney specializing in the type of immigration issue you may have.)

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