Articles Posted in Immigration Law

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The Supreme Court held that Defendant must be allowed to withdraw his plea of guilty to a criminal offense because Defendant would not have accepted the plea agreement if he had been provided the effective assistance of counsel to which he was constitutionally entitled. Defendant, who entered the United States without examination by the Department of Homeland Security, pleaded guilty to aggravated misdemeanor forgery. Based on this conviction, he was removed from the United States to Mexico. After Defendant returned to the United States he filed for postconviction relief, asserting that he was denied the effective assistance of counsel because counsel did not advise him pleading guilty to an aggravated felony has severe immigration consequences. The district court agreed and vacated Defendant’s conviction. The court of appeals reversed. The Supreme Court vacated the court of appeals, affirmed the district court, and remanded to allow Defendant to withdraw his plea and stand for trial, holding that counsel provided constitutionally deficient performance, and this deficiency resulted in prejudice. View "Diaz v. State" on Justia Law

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Iowa’s forgery statute is preempted on its face by federal immigration law. Further, Iowa’s identity theft statute is field preempted as applied in this case, and enforcement of the identity theft statute is conflict preempted in this case. Appellant was an undocumented citizen who was brought to Iowa by her parents when she was eleven years old. Appellant was educated in Iowa public schools, lived in Iowa continuously, and was a mother of four children who were United States citizens. Appellant applied for and received temporary lawful immigration status from the Department of Homeland Security pursuant to the Department’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Appellant was later prosecuted by the State for using false documents to obtain federal employment authorization. Appellant filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that federal law preempted her prosecution under the Iowa identity theft and forgery statutes. The district court denied the motion, concluding that the charges of identity theft and forgery were state crimes independent of Appellant’s immigration status. The Supreme Court reversed. View "State v. Martinez" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs, Klever Miranda and Nancy Campoverde, entered the U.S. without documentation. Klever received a notice of removal order and was represented by attorney Michael Said. Said advised Klever and Nancy to leave the country and then file a document called a Form I-601 waiver, which permits an applicant who is otherwise ineligible to be admitted into the U.S. based on extreme hardship to a qualifying relative. Said told Plaintiffs that once their son Cesar obtained citizenship, he would be a qualifying relative. However, once Plaintiffs left the country and filed the Form I-601, the applications were denied. Plaintiffs later learned that Cesar was not a qualifying relative. Plaintiffs and Cesar brought a legal malpractice action against Said, including a claim for emotional distress damages and punitive damages. The district court allowed only the claim for economic damages to be considered by the jury and found Said negligent. The court of appeals reversed, finding the claims for emotional distress and punitive damages should have been submitted to the jury. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court erred in concluding that emotional distress and punitive damages were not available to Plaintiffs. Remanded for a new trial.View "Miranda v. Said" on Justia Law