If there are two groups of individuals who currently have very little
support among the American people and legislature, it is surely
immigrants and criminals. As a result, the brunt of the 1996 immigration
reforms fell hardest upon those with criminal backgrounds. The campaign
to reform the immigration laws was sold to the American public as a
campaign to expel "undeserving aliens," chief among them the so-called
"criminal aliens.' However, this politically expedient reform was executed
at the expense of the United States obligation of non-refoulement under the
Convention Relating to Refugees. As a result, untold numbers of refugees
are now eligible to be returned to certain death and imprisonment because
of minor or unproven criminal histories. Every such instance of
refoulement will constitute a violation of international law.
Kathleen M. Keller,
A Comparative and International Law Perspective on the United States (Non)Compliance with its Duty of Non- Refoulement,
Yale Hum. Rts. & Dev. L.J.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/yhrdlj/vol2/iss1/4