We are leading an effort to reduce the maximum sentence for a gross misdemeanor in Minnesota by one day, from 365 days down to 364. This would fix a mismatch between state law and federal immigration law that brings devasting immigration consequences. Under current Minnesota law, noncitizens, including lawful permanent residents, face virtually automatic deportation if they receive a 365-day sentence for a gross misdemeanor here. That’s because under federal immigration law, 365-day sentences are treated as a felony, regardless of state law. Reducing Minnesota’s maximum gross misdemeanor sentence by a single day to 364 days will prevent disproportionately severe immigration consequences. It also affirms the principle that states are in charge of defining their own criminal offenses and penalties.
ACLU-MN wins victory in U.S. District Court