Impact: Knowledge Provides Protection Against Deportation

An Illinois federal defender contacted the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) regarding a client who had lawful permanent resident status and had lived in the United States since he was a child. The man had no prior arrests, but had used a false social security number in filing bankruptcy. With NIJC's help, the defender was able to negotiate his client’s plea to a misdemeanor. The man was sentenced to less than six months of probation and no jail time. If he had pled guilty to a felony as originally charged, he would not have had any defense against deportation. With the help of the Defenders Initiative, the man entered a plea that helped him avoid mandatory detention and certain deportation.