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August 2018 Archives

Legal permanent residents targeted for deportation

Legal immigrants in Tennessee with green cards may be concerned about reports of the Trump administration's immigration crackdown. While many people think that only undocumented immigrants are being arrested and slated for deportation, even legal immigrants and green card holders are being targeted for potential deportation on the basis of old criminal convictions. Further actions from the administration could threaten permanent residents who have used transit subsidies, Medicaid and other forms of social assistance.

Do Non-Citizens have Constitutional Rights?

There is a misconception that the U.S. Constitution applies only to U.S. citizens. Some passages and phrases in our laws explicitly state only "citizens" are afforded certain rights, such as the right to vote. When the terms "resident" or "person" is used instead of citizen, the rights and privileges afforded are extended to protect citizens and non-citizens alike. Moreover, protections under the 14th Amendment ensure that no particular group is discriminated against unlawfully.

ACLU accuses immigration agencies of setting traps

Immigration has become a hot button issue in Tennessee and the rest of the country. Now the American Civil Liberties Union is claiming that federal immigration agencies are coordinating efforts with Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials to facilitate deportations of individuals seeking citizenship through marriage. According to documents related to a class-action lawsuit being filed by the ACLU, officials are setting "traps" that violate the constitutional rights of immigrants attempting to become legal citizens.

ICE No Longer Prioritizes Who They Try to Deport

Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE") no longer prioritizes who they go after when seeking the removal of a non-citizen from the United States. Previously, there had been levels of priority, establishing a system that tried to ensure the limited and valuable government resources available were used to target criminals and terrorists first, before going after long-time undocumented immigrants with family ties and no criminal history. That is no longer the case.

30 Days Jail Time for DUI when Child in Car

Tennessee DUI laws provide mandatory minimum sentences, and sentence enhancement factors, for those who are convicted. A DUI first offense carries a minimum sentence of 48 hours in jail and a $350.00 fine, among other things. This minimum sentence however can be increased in several ways. For example, if your blood alcohol level is 0.20% or higher, the minimum sentence is raised to 7 days, even on a first offense. For those charged with DUI with a minor in the vehicle, the minimum jail time is substantially increased to 30 days. Read on to understand the different sentence enhancements and criminal charges that can be brought against you.

ICE Agents Cannot Execute Search Warrants at Your Home

Under federal law, certain Immigration and Customs Enforcement Officers cannot execute search warrants. They also cannot enter your residence to serve an arrest warrant. So what do you do if ICE is outside your door? To understand your options, you need to know a little history about the agency.

Due Process for Undocumented Immigrants

Due process allows an individual in the federal sphere to exercise his or her legal rights afforded by the U.S. Constitution and laws enacted by Congress. In immigration court, it allows one to contest the proposed deportation by appearing before a judge.

Supreme Court strikes down unconstitutionally vague immigration law

An unconstitutionally vague immigration law has been struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court.  The case of Sessions v. Dimaya centered on a burglary conviction that that an Immigration Judge determined was an "aggravated felony." If convicted of an aggravated felony, Dimaya would be subject to mandatory detention and  automatic removal from the United States. 

Federal Judge: Tennessee Must Reinstate Driver Licenses Revoked for Failure to Pay

A federal judge ruled that the state of Tennessee cannot revoke driver licenses for those who cannot afford to pay their court costs, and must reinstate those previously revoked. The State has appealed the decision.

Grandparent Visitation in Tennessee

In Tennessee, grandparents can obtain court-ordered visitation with their grandchild, although in limited circumstances. These include the death of a parent, when a parent is missing, if the child's parents are not married, or if the child has lived with the grandparents for at least a year before being removed by the parents. So what kind of visitation schedule can a grandparent obtain?

How does a Breathalyzer work?

A breathalyzer does not actually measure blood alcohol content or concentration, which would require a blood sample. There are big differences between the small handheld breathalyzers used in the field, and the larger devices at police stations. Small breathalyzers may justify an arrest, but may not be admissible evidence in court. So how does it work?

Address for New Rutherford County Courthouse in Murfreesboro

Rutherford County's new Judicial Building was completed in Murfreesboro this summer and is only a few blocks away from the old courthouse on the square. However, for many people whose case began in the old courthouse and was moved to the new one, actually finding the address has proved difficult. Even Google Maps has the address listed incorrectly! But don't worry, we've got you covered.

Judge orders migrant children removed from detention facility

Tennessee readers may be interested to learn that a U.S. district court judge has ordered the Trump administration to remove all underage migrants from a Texas detention center unless certain child welfare requirements are met. The order, which was issued on July 30, came in response to accusations of child abuse at the facility.

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