A recent ruling by the United States Supreme Court has determined that a new ruling applying to clients facing deportation from the United States and their immigration lawyers cannot be applied retroactively.
In 2010, the United States Supreme Court determined that immigrants to the United States have a constitutional right to be informed by their lawyers if they could be deported when they plead guilty for a crime.
An immigrant from Mexico who had pleaded guilty to an aggravated felony for a very minor role in an insurance fraud scheme and was on her way to being deported from the United States when she asked to be able to take advantage of the previous ruling retroactively. She argued that she did not have effective counsel, as was her right.
The woman was 55-year-old Roselva Chaidez, who became a permanent resident of the United States in 1977.
When someone who is not a citizen of the United States commits a crime – even if it is a minor crime or a nonviolent crime – it can lead to deportation. Many immigration lawyers already inform their clients that pleading guilty to committing a crime can result in their deportation, but in this case the lawyer had not. Because she had pleaded guilty to the crime, she was under a mandatory removal order.
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