Criminal Defense of Immigrants
§ 2.1 I. Introduction: 3 Reasons to Protect Our Clients' Immigration Status
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There are three primary reasons for us, as criminal lawyers, to protect our clients’ immigration status as we handle their cases:
(1) It is in our clients’ interest for us to do so.
(2) If we don’t do it in criminal court, very often no one can, and it’s difficult or impossible to recover from a mistake.
(3) It’s part of our job as criminal lawyers, and it’s in our own interest to do a good job.
Fortunately, it’s a lot easier to do this than we may have thought. The main discussion in this Chapter will describe the reasons why we must protect our clients from immigration damage resulting from the outcome of a criminal case, and the conclusion will outline a simple way to do so that uses our knowledge and skills as criminal lawyers, but does not require us to learn the complexities of immigration law.
STATISTICS " IMMIGRANTS ARE LESS LIKELY TO COMMIT SERIOUS CRIMES OR BE BEHIND BARS THAN NATIVE-BORN CITIZENS
The Criminalization of Immigration in the United States The American Immigration Council released the report, The Criminalization of Immigration in the United States by Walter A. Ewing, Ph.D., Daniel E. Martnez, Ph.D., and Rubn G. Rumbaut, Ph.D. For years, the quantitative data has established two key facts with respect to the relationship between immigrants and crime: immigration is associated with lower crime rates and immigrants are less likely than the native-born to be serious criminals. The new report also describes the ways in which U.S. immigration laws and policies are driven by misconceptions and have re-defined the notion of criminal as it applies to immigrants. As a result, our immigration enforcement programs are designed to round up even long term residents whose only infraction is being undocumented.