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Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, Citing Professor Anil Kalhan’s Scholarship, Vacates Sentence

Anil Kalhan

May 04, 2015

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit vacated and remanded the sentence of a non-citizen who had been held both in state custody and immigration detention before being charged with illegal re-entry.  

On April 29, a panel of 7th Circuit judges vacated the sentence of Marcos Estrada-Mederos, finding that a district court had failed to give due consideration to his claim that the government delayed charging him with illegal re-entry into the U.S. until after he had already served a state criminal sentence.

“Immigration detention, like state incarceration, is a period of confinement that will not be credited toward defendant’s federal sentence,” the court said in its ruling. “Though the immigration custody is civil detention and the state custody is criminal incarceration, the similarities are too strong to ignore.”

The ruling then cited an article by Professor Anil Kalhan, “Rethinking Immigration Detention,” which appeared in the Columbia Law Review Sidebar in 2010. The article noted that while immigration detention is civil custody, it is often indistinguishable, in practice, from criminal incarceration.  

Kalhan has written and spoken extensively on the growing convergence of criminal law and immigration law.  His more recent work has appeared in the Maryland Law Review and the Ohio State Law Journal.