The other skate appears to be dropping in the 11-month old Slava Voynov saga.
Per a report by the Russian news agency TASS, the Kings’ star defenseman was taken into custody by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) last week, shortly after being released from prison after serving a 90-day sentence for domestic violence. The decision to place him in “removal proceedings” was made after “a comprehensive review of the case”.
Legal reason for deportation
According to 8 U.S. Code § 1227, the statute that ICE is relying upon as grounds for deportation reads as follows:
Any alien who at any time after admission is convicted of a crime of domestic violence, a crime of stalking, or a crime of child abuse, child neglect, or child abandonment is deportable. For purposes of this clause, the term “crime of domestic violence” means any crime of violence (as defined in section 16 of title 18) against a person committed by a current or former spouse of the person, by an individual with whom the person shares a child in common, by an individual who is cohabiting with or has cohabited with the person as a spouse, by an individual similarly situated to a spouse of the person under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction where the offense occurs, or by any other individual against a person who is protected from that individual’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the United States or any State, Indian tribal government, or unit of local government.
ICE Western Regional Communications Director Virginia Kice was quoted as saying that Voynov will receive due process:
As with anyone who’s facing deportation, he’ll be afforded due process and the immigration court will ultimately determine whether he’ll be subject to removal from the U.S.
According to an unidentified official, Voynov is being held without bond.
The Christian Ehrhoff signing was prescient
A couple of weeks ago, the Kings inked veteran puck-moving defenseman Christian Ehrhoff to a one year, $1.5 million contract. Although many considered it merely a depth signing, I predicted it to be a bit more than that in a piece shortly after the news broke.
Ehrhoff may be considerably older and likely just a one-year rental, but has solid offensive skills and, if healthy, should be capable of logging Voynov’s minutes this year.
Reactions to the news on Twitter were to the point:
Voynov may get deported…. right into a multi-million dollar KHL deal. Not the Trump kind of deportation, that.
— Slava Malamud (@SlavaMalamud) September 4, 2015
A veteran immigration lawyer on Voynov: "An individual with crimes like domestic violence is not in great shape in immigration court."
— Nathan Fenno (@nathanfenno) September 3, 2015
The deportation process can be lengthy, especially if the subject contests the action, which Voynov would almost certainly do. According to the Washington Post, the average wait for an immigration case in California in 2011 was 660 days, with the timetables only getting longer since then.
A high-profile case such as Voynov’s might ultimately be fast-tracked. However, at least for now, expect the situation to remain unresolved for the foreseeable future.
What do you think? Will Voynov really face deportation proceedings, or will some other resolution be reached? Leave your thoughts below, or send a tweet to @McLaughlinWalt.
Walter McLaughlin is a Los Angeles Kings correspondent for The Hockey Writers. He is an avid sports fan, having followed the Kings since living in L.A. in the mid-1970’s, as well as suffering through Seattle sports teams’ general futility. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Finance and has worked in community banking for over 25 years, specializing in SBA loans. He is married and has two daughters.