§ 8.36 b. Noncitizens Without Lawful Status
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It is more difficult to counter prejudice against noncitizens who are present in the United States without lawful status. The normal process of humanizing the client is very important here, since many clients are generally law-abiding family people who are very hardworking and have many positive qualities. If the client has some possible manner of obtaining lawful status, that should be pointed out. See § 24.2, infra. For example, many clients are married to United States citizens, and can obtain Lawful Permanent Resident status if the criminal disposition can be arranged not to trigger inadmissibility. See Chapter 18, infra.
THREAT TO EXPOSE UNDOCUMENTED STATUS CAN CONSTITUTE CRIMINAL EXTORTION
David P. Weber, (Unfair) Advantage: Damocles Sword And The Coercive Use Of Immigration Status In A Civil Society, 94 Marquette L. Rev. 613 (2010) (When an immigrant is being threatened with a loss of property or something else of value, the threatening party, whether a lawyer or nonlawyer, may be engaging in the crime of extortion depending on the relevant . . . definition of the crime.).
IMMIGRATION OFFENSES " UNLAWFUL PRESENCE " NOT A CRIMINAL OFFENSE
Harry J. Joe, Illegal Aliens in State Courts: To Be or Not to Be Reported to Immigration and Naturalization Service?, 63 TEX. B.J. 954, 957 (2000) (noting that unauthorized presence itself is not a criminal offense); Michael John Garcia, Criminalizing Unlawful Presence: Selected Issues, at CRS-2 (2006), http://trac.syr.edu/immigration/library/P585.pdf ([A]n alien found unlawfully present in the U.S. is typically subject only to removal.).