SUPREME COURT RULES THAT POSSESSION FOR DISTRIBUTION OF MARIJUANA NOT NECESSARILY AN AGGRAVATED FELONY REQUIRING MANDATORY DEPORTATION

Adrian Moncrieffe plead guilty to possession of marijuana with intent to distribute after law enforcement officers found 1.3 grams of marijuana in his car. Moncrieffe is a Jamaican citizen, having moved to this country with his parents when he was three years old, and following his conviction the government attempted to deport him. Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), a person convicted of an aggravated felony must be deported. While the act does not clearly define the term “aggravated […] Read more »

SUPREME COURT RULES PADILLA NOT RETROACTIVE

In the 2010 case, Padilla v. Kentucky the Supreme Court ruled that the failure of an attorney to warn a non-citizen of the immigration consequences of a guilty plea is incompetence of counsel. Last week the Supreme Court in Chaidez v. United States ruled that Padilla is not retroactive and affects only those cases that were not final at the time of the ruling in Padilla. Roselva Chaidez immigrated from Mexico. She became a lawful permanent resident in 1977. Her […] Read more »

IMMIGRATION OFFENSES CONTINUE TO GROW

The United States Sentencing Commission publishes an annual statistical study of crime in the United States based upon a review of those sentenced in the Federal Courts. The 2011 report is now available. It shows a constant increase in immigration related convictions which now account for 34.9 per cent of convictions. In second place is drug convictions which amount to 29.1 per cent of convictions. One thing the report clearly shows is the racial nature of the criminal justice system […] Read more »

COURT UPHOLDS RIGHT TO WAIVER OF DEPORTATION FOR UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANT

Martin Mendoza Leiba (“Mendoza”) entered the country without documents from El Salvador. He got married in 1994. He and his wife have five children. In 1996 his status was adjusted to that of a lawful permanent resident and in 2001 his wife became a citizen. In 2008 he was convicted of receiving stolen property and he was given a suspended sentence. Homeland Security filed removal papers claiming that an alien who, “any time after admission,” was convicted of an aggravated […] Read more »

ARIZONA POLICE BEGIN ENFORCING S.B. 1070

Last June the Supreme Court upheld the part of Arizona’s immigration law (S.B. 1070) that required police officers when making an arrest to demand that a person provide proof that he/she is in the country legally. This week the the Huffington Post reports the U.S. District Court in Arizona gave the state permission to begin enforcing the law. But the litigation is not over. While the Supreme Court said that the section was constitutional on its face there will certainly […] Read more »

NINTH CIRCUIT FINDS BORDER SEARCH TO BE UNCONSTITUTIONAL

Rufino Ignacio Valdes-Vega was driving a Ford F-150 pickup on Interstate 15 (I-15) 70 miles north of the Mexican border in San Diego County, California. A border patrol agent in an unmarked vehicle sitting along side the road took notice of Valdes-Vega. Valdes-Vega was driving in an erratic manner, faster than the flow of traffic and he had a Baja California license on his vehicle. The agent lost track of the vehicle and a second agent continued the surveillance. The […] Read more »

UNITED STATES v. ARIZONA

After Arizona enacted S. B. 1070 which criminalized certain violations of Federal immigration law the Ninth Circuit issued an injunction prohibiting the enforcement of four sections of the Act. The Supreme Court last week upheld the injunction on three sections. The primary issue before the Supreme Court was whether the sections were preempted by Federal law. Under the Constitution Federal law is the supreme law of the land and where there is a conflict between Federal and State law Federal […] Read more »

SOLICITATION FOR PROSTITUTION–A CRIME OF MORAL TURPITUDE

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a decisision by the Bureau of Immigration Appeals (BIA) that solicitation for the purpose of prostitution is a crime of moral turpitude prohibiting an order allowing a foreign citizen to voluntarily depart from the country. The Court held that since a prior decision of the BIA found that prostitution was a crime of moral turpitude and since there is no material difference between prostitution and solicitation for prostitution that solicitation under California Penal […] Read more »

SECURE COMMUNITIES NOW IN 44 STATES

Secure Communities is now active in all or part of 44 states. Secure Communities is the Federal program that allows the Federal Government to use local arrest data to deport undocumented immigrants. It is based on biometric data such as fingerprints of arrestees. Close to 120,000 immigrants have been removed from the country using the Secure Communities program. Originally we were told that the program was voluntary. Then we were told that if a state signed a contract with the […] Read more »

SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS DEPORTATION FOR FILING A FALSE TAX RETURN

Akio and Fusako Kawashima plead guilty to tax offenses. Akio plead to willfully making and subscribing a false tax return in violation of 26 U. S. C. §7206(1). Fusako plead to aiding and assisting in the preparation of a false tax return in violation of 26 U. S. C. §7206(2). They are lawful permanent residents, citizens of Japan. The Immigration and Naturalization Service started the deportation process following their convictions. Under the Aliens and Nationality Code (8 U.S.C) anyone who […] Read more »