DISCLAIMER: Comments posted on this blog are NOT legal advice. Please seek counsel for your legal questions.

Trump today issued his list of priorities for deportation. They include any person who has been convicted of "any" criminal offense, charged with "any" criminal offense, or committed "any" criminal act. Is he serious? Littering? Jaywalking? Driving without a license? What he really means is that anybody who comes in contact with law enforcement is a priority. In other parts of his plan he announced today he instructs the federal government to try to deputize local law enforcement to become immigration officers. This will lead to distrust with local communities and law enforcement.

The main thing is that criminal defenders must preserve client's eligibility to fight their case in immigration court. Immigration law is very technical....

Read more

Are you a noncitizen in Santa Clara County? Do you have a conviction which puts you in danger of deportation or prevents you from getting a green card? Do you have a conviction which prevents you from naturalizing? Or, are you a permanent resident and are afraid to travel outside the country because of a conviction?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, call my office for a consultation. We have special experience in Santa Clara County Post-Conviction Relief for noncitizens. There are special procedures and policies in place. We can let you know if you have a reasonable chance of obtaining post-conviction relief.

The process is simple. First you consult with us about the case. We do a thorough intake. We also gather all the co...

Read more

O.K., but who is a "criminal." If you have a misdemeanor driving without a license are you a criminal? Or, a misdemeanor littering? Or, are we talking about felons? He doesn't say, but he says there will be "zero tolerance."

Right now there is a Priority Enforcement Program policy of DHS. They are not going after undocumented aliens for minor traffic offenses or any misdemeanor conviction. The policy specifies which crimes make you a priority. The list includes any felony, any "aggravated felony"--which could be a misdemeanor, three misdemeanors other than minor traffic offenses and not arising out of the same incident, or a "significant misdemeanor" such as an offense of unlawful use or possession of a firearm, domestic violence offens...

Read more

Are you an H1-b or F-1 visa holder? Have you had your visa revoked because of a DUI arrest. Let me help you.

Most other attorneys merely tell their clients in this situation that they don't have to leave the country now, that they still retain their status, but that when they go back to their country of origin for a visit or restamping of their passport, that they will face a medical interview. They then say that they may not pass the interview and that this will jeopardize their status.

If you phone me, I will give you proactive steps to pass the medical interview through legitimate means. I will tell you what you must do now to optimize your chances of success.

Call me if you have this problem and set up a consultation.

If you have been deported after successfully completing Deferred Entry of Judgment ("DEJ") in California, let me help you.

I helped draft the language of California Penal Code section 1203.43, effective Jan. 1, 2016, which allows a defendant to withdraw a plea of guilty or no contest required to get the benefit of DEJ in California since 1997. DEJ allows minor drug offenders to plead guilty to an offense, be referred to a drug program, and then get their case "dismissed" after successful completion. Defendants are told that they will get a clean slate: the guilty plea will not be used against them in the future to deny them any "benefit."

For noncitizens this is misinformation: they are routinely deported for DEJ even after their case i...

Read more

Let me help you defend against adverse immigration consequences with a "Collateral Consequences" letter in criminal court.

District Attorneys frequently request "Collateral Consequences" letters, especially in Santa Clara County, from attorneys representing noncitizen defendants. I have written dozens of these letters for criminal defense counsel to use with district attorneys.

I first do a thorough interview with the client to determine immigration status, prior convictions, immigration consequences of a conviction, immigration relief, travel issues, and priorities. Then, I write a letter setting forth my qualification, immigration status of client, charge, prior convictions, immigration consequences, and recommendations.

I have found...

Read more

The State Department has a new policy: if you get arrested (yes arrested--not even convicted!) for a DUI, the U.S. conulate in your country of origin will issue a "prudential revocation of your visa."

This does not mean that you are automatically out of status or have to leave the U.S. But, it does mean that when you return for a vacation or stamping of your passport you will not be allowed a renewal of your visa (or a change in your visa) until you attend a medical exam to determine if you are likely to commit any more DUI's.

Don't just ignore it. Don't assume you will easily pass the medical exam.

Call my office for a consultation (over the phone or in person) so I can assist you in taking the steps necessary to make sure you have a ...

Read more

I just presented on new P.C. 1473.7 effective Jan. 1, 2017 with the Immigrant Legal Resource Center to immigration and criminal attorneys as an expert on post-conviction relief.

This new law allows noncitizens to file a motion to vacate a conviction based on failure of an attorney to advise or defend against immigration consequences, or for failure of the noncitizen to meaningfully understand the immigration consequences of a plea. This new law allows a motion to be filed even if the defendant is no longer serving a sentence or on probation or parole.

I also spoke about other post-conviction relief including new P.C. 18.5 (motion to reduce a 365 day sentence to a 364 day sentence), P.C. 1203.43 (motion to vacate a DEJ plea of guilty ba...

Read more

Let us help you with a U visa if you or your spouse was the victim of a violent crime and you are undocumented. You also had to cooperate with the police.

The first step is that we help you get a certification from the police department.

The second step is to file an application.

Many undocumented persons do not realize that they can get a green card eventually through a U visa.

Phone our office today for a consultation.

If you are a noncitizen on a nonimmigrant visa and get arrested for a DUI, you will get a notice from the U.S. Consulate in your country of origin that there has been a prudential revocation of your visa.

This does not mean you are out of status or that you have to leave. What it means is that when you do travel outside the U.S. or need to restamp your visa, you will be referred for a medical examination. You will be questioned about why you were arrested for DUI. You could be denied admission back to the U.S. depending on whether the civil surgeon doing the examination thinks that you may be a danger on account of drinking and driving.

Be proactive: let me tell you what you need to do to pass the medical exam and avoid inadmissibility.


Read more