The next issue that will be discussed concerns immigration. In particular, should we deport immigrants, whether they are legal or not, back to their own country if they are convicted of a criminal offense.
First of all, let us define what an immigrant is: an immigrant is a person who comes to a foreign country in which they intend to live permanently. People may do so legally, following all the guidelines set out by the Government of Canada, or they may do so illegally, where the person may “quietly” enter unnoticed and just simply not leave. We shall not talk about immigration policy per se and whether the government is doing enough in terms of screening, etc. We will simply discuss whether we should deport immigrants based on the fact that they have been convicted of a criminal offense.
I believe that the answer to this question is dependent on the severity of the crime. If a human is convicted of committing a felony or a violent crime, then they should be deported and imprisoned for the entirety of the term set forth by the government of the country in which it was committed. This should not be dependent on whether the immigration of the individual was legal or illegal. The home country of the individual would first need to agree to this and the condition of the home country should also be explored before utilizing this option. If the home country of the individual is in the middle of a war or has been hit by extreme weather such as a hurricane or tsunami, then the transfer should be put on hold until such a time that it is safe for them to return. In the meantime, the convict should be imprisoned in the transferring country.
Deportation is also dependent on whether that person came to the country, say Canada, legally or illegally. If someone has taken the time and effort to come to Canada legally and did not commit a felony or violent crime, then they should not be deported, but simply imprisoned in Canada for their entire sentence. However, if the immigrant came to Canada illegally they should be deported for any crime; they should be deported regardless if only on the grounds of illegal immigration. The next point will be discussed more in a subsequent post on immigration policy; I believe that if a time period of roughly 10-15 years has passed since the person has immigrated illegally, then they should be handled in the same way as a legal immigrant.
There have been reports, especially in the United States, where immigrants have been deported after living there for over 30 to 40 years and this is simply ridiculous. If that person has resided in the country for that long, deporting them would only do more harm than good and they would have to start their lives all over again.
In general, a felony or violent crime committed by any immigrant warrants deportation and a non-violent crime of a legal immigrant does not warrant deportation. Finally, up to a point, illegal immigrants should always be deported.