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U.S. Attorney General to Allow Immigration Judges to Consider Mental Health of Convicted Criminals

As a result of a recent decision by U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, immigration courts will now have to consider convicted criminal’s mental health history when considering their asylum or deportation. This decision overturns a 2014 ruling put in place by the Board of Immigration Appeals that said that when judging the seriousness of a crime “a person’s mental health is not a factor to be considered in a particularly serious crime analysis.” This ruling did not allow judges to consider an immigrant’s mental health conditions when making their decisions on a case. 

This new decision stems from a 2017 case which Garland asked the Board of Immigration Appeals to send to him for review. The case involved a Mexican national who was convicted of burglary in New Jersey in 2017. The man was sentenced to four years in prison and deported for his crimes. He argued that he should not be deported because he would be persecuted in Mexico due to his sexual orientation and mental condition.

Time will tell how this new ruling will affect rulings in Immigration Court, and whether this will be a helpful new metric when it comes to judging convicted immigrants. For more immigration-related news such as this, be sure to subscribe to Berardi Immigration Law’s social media channels!