Criminal Defense of Immigrants


§ 5.42 3. Immigration Consequences

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Adverse immigration consequences may sometimes arise as a result of reopening a case or even trying to reopen a case.  For example, if the client has not previously come to the attention of the immigration authorities, the prosecution may report the client to the immigration authorities during the course of the post-conviction litigation.  The immigration authorities may arrest the client and place him or her in removal proceedings.  In another situation, the client may be deportable for a conviction for which discretionary relief is possible in immigration court.  If the conviction is reopened, the client may suffer a different conviction that constitutes an aggravated felony for which immigration relief is totally barred.


                The client must make the ultimate decision whether the risk of incurring adverse criminal or immigration consequences after obtaining post-conviction relief — consequences even worse than s/he initially suffered — outweighs the immigration benefits s/he seeks.