Two months ago, Michigan U.S. Rep. Hillary Scholten visited the Southern border and pronounced it a “national security crisis, a humanitarian crisis, and an economic crisis.”

She continued: “I spoke with Border Patrol officers, detention center workers, including doctors, those providing humanitarian aid, and migrants themselves. One thing is clear– we cannot delay our efforts to address this crisis a single day longer. This is a red alarm emergency…. We must act now.”

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Scholten is an incumbent running for reelection to represent Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District. Her website promotes Scholten as “a leader on immigration issues in Congress having worked on immigration issues for more than 20 years both on the enforcement and community aid side of the crisis.”

But her record tells a story that belies her current urgency to fix the nation’s border crisis. For example, Scholten co-authored a 2011 law journal article in which she and her collaborator depicted deportations of criminal immigrants as “impermissibly cruel and unusual punishment.”

According to a Gallup poll released on Feb. 27, immigration is the nation’s biggest issue.

Whereas 20% ranked immigration as the most important issue in January, 28% responded that immigration was the most important issue one month later.  Only the government (20%), the economy (12%) and inflation (11%) ranked in the double digits of the poll.

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Scholten published the piece, co-written by law school professor Maureen Sweeney for the Saint Louis University Public Law Review.

According to the article the women wrote, sentencing an illegal immigrant convicted in the broadly defined “aggravated felony” category to deportation is fundamentally cruel because it separates the criminal from his/her family, and the family members could be in the U.S. legally.

“[T]he lives of tens of thousands of our country’s citizens and residents – noncitizen defendants and their family members, many of whom are U.S. citizens – are completely and irrevocably upended each year by the deportation of lawful residents for relatively minor criminal offenses.”

The list of aggravated felonies subject to deportation is specific, and many of these crimes rise above what many would depict as “relatively minor criminal offenses.”

Among them would be fourth-degree sexual criminal sexual conduct.

But as an immigration attorney before her public political career, Scholten attempted to overturn a deportation order for an immigrant Iraqi woman, 22-year-old Azal “Mary” Saleh, a registered sex offender who was charged with molesting a 12-year-old girl in Grandville.

“Ultimately, like other immigration practitioners, we recognize the epidemic of disproportionally harsh deportations being carried out in this country for relatively minor offensives and feel that a relatively weak recognition that a penalty should be proportionate provides a better backstop than the current removal scheme,” Sweeney and Scholten wrote.

Saleh’s appealed her deportation to the U.S. Sixth Circuit District Court.

According to court documents, Saleh denied her act was criminal behavior and that she was entitled to protection from removal under the Convention Against Torture.

“Petitioner contended that she would be tortured upon removal to Iraq because of her identity as a female, Christian, Westernized, single mother without family support and with a history of forced prostitution and a criminal record that identifies her as having engaged in homosexual activity.”

The appeal was denied in part and dismissed in part.