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 »

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 »

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 »

FIRST CIRCUIT REVERSES BIA DEPORTATION ORDER

Agostino Accardo was convicted of making an extortionate extension of credit (18 U.S.C. § 892(a)). The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) found 18 U.S.C. § 892(a) to be an aggravated felony and ordered Accardo deported. Aggravated felonies include crimes of violence and the BIA ruled that 18 U.S.C. § 892(a) was a crime of violence. Accardo appealed to the First Circuit Court of Appeals. The BIA used a categorical approach to determine that Accardo was deportable. Under the categorical approach […] Read more »

DESPITE REDUCTION OF FELONY TO MISDEMEANOR FELONY ENHANCEMENT UPHELD

Cesar Julio Salazar-Mojica was convicted of a felony assault with a deadly weapon in California in 1980. He was placed on probation. The probation was revoked in 1982 and he was sent to prison. When he was released from prison he was deported to Mexico. On June 5, 2008he was arrested near the border and charged with returning to the United States after being deported in violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1326. While awaiting trial on the Federal charge, Salazar-Mojica […] Read more »

ICE REFUSES REQUESTS TO OPT OUT OF SECURE COMMUNITIES

ICE claims to have definitively decided not to allow individual counties to opt out of its Secure Communities Program. A number of counties including California’s San Francisco and Santa Clara counties as well as Virginia’s Arlington County and Washington D. C. have requested to opt out of the program following the decision of the state Attorneys General to enroll the state in the program. A community that signs up for Secure Communities electronically provides all fingerprints of those arrested and […] Read more »

SAN FRANCISCO FAMILY SAVED FROM DEPORTATION DESPITE ALLEGATION OF CHILD’S FELONIOUS CONDUCT

A thirteen year old boy punched a schoolmate and stole forty-six cents from him. Proper punishment–some time in youth hall maybe. Counseling–perhaps. But in this case the fourteen year old, his mother and his brother, but not his stepfather who is a US citizen were almost deported when it was discovered that their visa had expired. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom instituted a new policy under which every juvenile alleged to have committed felonious conduct and who was in the […] Read more »

THE WOES OF A NON-CITIZEN

One of the hardest things for a criminal defense attorney to do is to deal with with non-citizen clients. Often they face deportation, exclusion, or denial of citizenship in addition to the normal punishment for a conviction. In the years I’ve been practicing I have represented numerous clients that immigrated to this country as young children with their families but have never become citizens. Many of them don’t even speak their “native” language. Many do not have any close family […] Read more »