Supreme Court: Criminal aliens can be deportedMay 3, 1999
Web posted at: 7:52 p.m. EDT (2352 GMT)
From Senior Washington Correspondent Charles Bierbauer
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Supreme Court ruled Monday that the threat of political persecution in an alien's native country may not be sufficient to block deportation when the alien "has committed a serious non-political crime."
The court unanimously reversed a lower court ruling and allowed the Immigration and Naturalization Service to proceed with its efforts to deport a Guatemalan who, while protesting governmental policies, "burned buses, assaulted passengers, and vandalized and destroyed property."
The justices sided with the Immigration and Naturalization Service's view that "where an alien has sought to advance his agenda by atrocious means, the political aspect of his offense may not ... predominate over its criminal character."
In another case, the court agreed to decide whether police may stop and question a person who flees at the sight of the law, even if police had no reason to stop the person.
Police found a loaded gun in a bag carried by a Chicago man who took off on seeing the officers' patrol car. The man contends it was illegal for the police to stop and search him.
The case, which will be argued in the court's fall term, follows several cases this term which have largely expanded the ability of law enforcement officials to search and seize suspects' property, including that of passengers in a vehicle who were themselves not the cause of the vehicle being stopped.
School district elections face Supreme Court scrutiny
US Immigration and Naturalization Service
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