Criminal Defense of Immigrants


§ 3.6 A. Preparation

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Before undertaking to interview a criminal defendant who is not a citizen of the United States, counsel may wish to take several steps in preparation.  It is a good idea to go prepared with a Basic Immigration Status Questionnaire, to ensure counsel obtains the information from the defendant necessary to diagnose the immigration situation so immigration counsel, when consulted, can be most helpful.  See § 3.12, infra.  It is crucial to ensure that if the client is not fluent in the English language, a competent translator is available to assist in the interview.  See § 3.8, infra.  Try to discover the client’s nationality and other cultural traits, so as to ensure good communication and understanding.  See § 3.7, infra.  Counsel should also review the basic immigration goals to be achieved during the interview.  See § 3.9, infra.