Criminal defense attorneys have a duty to properly advise noncitizen clients about the immigration consequences of pending charges. See, e.g., Padilla v. Kentucky, 559 U.S. 356 (2010); Lee v. United States, 137 S. Ct. 1958 (2017). Attorneys sometimes think that undocumented clients will be deported irrespective of the outcome in their criminal case. Sometimes this is true, sometimes it is not.
The Defender Services Office has established a partnership with Heartland Alliance's National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) to provide training and resources to CJA practitioners around the country on immigration-related issues. Federal defenders and CJA panel attorneys can call NIJC's Defenders Initiative at (312) 660-1610 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with questions regarding potential immigration issues affecting their clients. An NIJC attorney will respond to the inquiry within 24 business hours. Further information on the Defenders Initiative can be found on the NIJC's web site.
The Training Division provides program materials and videos, webinars, as well as criminal defense topics addressing immigration and offenses involving noncitizens, as well as the immigration consequences of conviction, to help you represent noncitizen clients.