Immigration prosecutors have taken to committing questionable practices behind closed doors, pressing detained immigrants with no legal status to sign away their rights. These plea bargains often times have a negative effect and dramatically decrease individuals’ opportunity to request asylum or protection from persecution, often times resulting in individuals’ deportation. The Intercept took a deeper look into these shady plea bargains. NIJC attorney Claudia Valenzuela spoke with the publication calling the provisions “alarming,” especially since some defendants might not realize they could qualify for relief. She said, “some of our LGBT clients who don’t realize that being beaten or harmed is basis for seeking asylum. They’ve been harmed all their lives in different ways. They don’t realize that this would be a claim." Read the full story.
NIJC's Defenders Initiative responds to email inquiries from criminal defense attorneys who have questions regarding potential immigration consequences that their immigrant defendant clients may face. Use the form at right to contact the Defenders Initiative to schedule a training or ask a question about how your client's criminal case may impact his or her immigration status.
For more resources on immigration consequences for criminal defendents, visit the Immigrant Defense Project.
Send NIJC a message to request an information session in your community.
Reporters can contact NIJC using the email form below or by calling Tara Tidwell Cullen at (312) 660-1337.
NIJC's experienced lawyers, policy staff and clients are available speak about the legal and personal impact of immigration laws and policies.