A Federal Cassation Court confirmed yesterday that an article of the migration law concerning the possibility to expel foreigners who commit crimes in the country is constitutional, the Centro de Información Judicial reported.

The highest court in the country unanimously dismissed an appeal presented by a defendant accused of alleged contraband, arguing article 64 of the National Directorate of Migrations law was indeed constitutional.

Namely, the law determines the state, through administrative orders, will “immediately” deport foreigners who are not legally residing in the country if one of the following cases takes place:

  • If the foreigner is eligible for parole – the amount of time that has to pass for it to happen depends on how many years he or she was sentenced. In that case, the expulsion from the country will compensate the time left to serve.
  • Foreigners who are sentenced to three years in prison or less can be automatically deported from the country. Since offenders who receive these sentences are not actually required to serve time, a court can decide to expel them automatically.
  • Foreigners who have firm indictments against them – meaning the decision has been upheld by both an appeals and a cassation court. In this case, the deportation also replaces all procedural measures the accused could resort to continue arguing their innocence.

In another ruling, an appeals court determined that a law establishing that deported foreigners can be prevented from re-entering the country for a certain period of time, depending on the gravity of their offense, is also constitutional. Time periods can vary between five years and a permanent ban.