WDA’s Immigration Project has been providing defenders with information about the immigration consequences of crimes since 1999. In 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Padilla v. Kentucky held that giving noncitizen clients affirmative, accurate advice about immigration consequences was part of the Sixth Amendment duty to provide effective assistance of counsel.
In light of the Padilla decision, WDA’s Immigration project receives over 3,000 requests for information on immigration consequences each year (with only two dedicated staff members). We have worked to refine a process that requires the least amount of your time and can also give us the needed information to analyze the consequences of criminal charges your client faces in a timely manner. Immigration consequences are highly specific to each defendant’s circumstances. There simply are no “one-crime-fits-all” answers.
As you are aware, the current climate of enforcement prioritizes deportation for noncitizens who become involved in the criminal justice system and the potential consequences, even for minor crimes, are severe. This, combined with case load pressures you face to provide high quality representation compels us to explore ways to continue to refine how we provide services to you.
To do this, we are seeking your input. It would be extremely valuable to WDA’s Immigration Project staff if you could take a few moments to fill out this survey. As always, we are honored to serve you and inspired by your advocacy.
WDA’s Immigration Project Staff,
Sara Sluszka, Immigration Resource Attorney
Jonathan Moore, Immigration Resource Specialist
Annie Benson, Senior Directing Attorney