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Immigration status plays key role in Arizona no-bail law

The United States is often thought of as a land of opportunity. For people who come into the U.S. from other countries, taking advantage of the opportunities can mean a better life for them and their family members. Unfortunately, for some immigrants to come into the United States, being accused of crimes can lead to long-lasting troubles. A recent decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals might help to lessen those troubles.

A voter-approved law in Arizona is at the heart of the decision by the appellate court. The law states that illegal immigrants who are accused of crimes like murder, sexual assault and even shoplifting will be denied bail. With that law struck down by the appellate court, all immigrants, regardless of their immigration status, might be able to be bailed out of jail as they move through the criminal justice system.

The American Civil Liberties Union says that the no-bail law violates the guarantee that anyone accused of a crime is innocent until proven guilty.

It is thought that Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio will seek reconsideration by the appellate court. A petition to the Supreme Court is possible if the appellate court doesn't reverse its decision. For people who have come to the U.S. seeking opportunity, having to sit in jail isn't likely what they had in mind.

Anyone who is considering coming to the U.S. should be aware of what he or she can do to come into the country legally. Those who are here in an undocumented status should know what options they have to seek an adjustment in status. By seeking a legal status, immigrants might qualify for services, benefits and protections that were outlawed as part of a 2006 four-bill package passed in Arizona.

Source: Fox News, "Illegal immigrants in Arizona must get right to post bail, federal court says" Oct. 16, 2014

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