When Is a Conviction a Crime of Violence - the evolving interpretation of 18 USC Section 16

Challenging the Use of 18 U.S.C. § 16(b) in Deportation Proceedings.

The Armed Career Criminal Act of 1984 (ACCA) is a federal law that provides sentence enhancements for felons in possession of a firearm, if the felon has three or more previous convictions for a “violent felony.” The term “violent felony” includes any felony that “involves conduct that presents a serious potential risk of physical injury to another.” 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(2)(B). This portion of the definition, known as the “residual clause,” is unique in that it is not focused on the elements of a conviction...


The Effect of Special Findings in Protection or Harassment Cases on Immigration Status

Most attorneys are aware that a finding of guilt in a criminal matter may create a consequence for his or her client if he or she is not a U.S. citizen.  For certain crimes, pleading guilty or being found guilty at trial will cause loss of lawful status, denial of a future application of citizenship, deportation, and/or denial of eligibility for relief from removal.  What about a judicial or administrative finding, or adjudication outside of the criminal court? This is an area that is not as clear cut, and understandably creates apprehension for both parties and attorneys. 



Dónde está mamá? - planificación para ayudar a los niños cuando un padre no está disponible

Todos los padres de pánico ante la idea de una emergencia que separa a un padre de un niño y deja al niño temporalmente con ningún proveedor de atención médica inmediata.   Ningún padre quiere que el estado a asumir la responsabilidad de sus hijos, o considerar el cuidado foster para una situación temporal cuando hay mejores opciones.   Esta preocupación parental es más fuerte para los padres que temen el contacto con inmigración y aduanas o de otra agencia policial.  Hay herramientas legales que ayudan a los padres prepararse para ese escenario.  

En muchos casos, el...


Individuals Claiming Fear at the Border Face Tougher Standard

When a person is apprehended by immigration officials at the border, that person may be placed in expedited removal proceedings, meaning that he or she can be deported without a hearing before an immigration judge. However, if the person claims to be afraid to return to his or her home country, that person is entitled to an opportunity to explain his or her fear to an asylum officer in what is known as a “credible fear interview.” The purpose of the credible fear interview is to determine whether there is a “significant possibility” that the person could be granted asylum by an...


Tribunales de inmigración deben considerar libertad condicional como alternativa a los bonos

En los últimos años, jueces de inmigración ("IJs") universalmente han negado las solicitudes de libertad condicional condicional bajo la sección 236(a) de la ley de inmigración y nacionalidad ("INA"). IJs nacional leer esta disposición legal en el sentido de que se requiere para liberar a un inmigrante detenido una fianza mínima $1.500. Como resultado de esta interpretación, muchos de los inmigrantes indigentes y de bajos ingresos de estancia encerrados en centros de detención porque no podían pagar bonos monetarios. Muchos de estos individuos no representan las preocupaciones de...


Protection against Search and Seizure in Immigration Proceedings

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures. In criminal cases, evidence discovered during an unreasonable search or seizure, such as during a warrantless arrest, can be suppressed in court. However, in civil cases, this “exclusionary rule” is generally not available.

The American legal system views immigration law proceedings civil matters. This was determined by the Supreme Court in the decision INS v. Lopez-Mendoza, 468 U.S. 1032 (1984). Because of this, the exclusionary rule usually cannot be used by respondents in immigration...