In November 2014 , President Obama announced that t his administration would not deport certain undocumented persons who are the parents of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents if they qualify for Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA). Since Padilla , it has been extremely important for a criminal defense lawyer to be cognizant of the immigration consequences on the outcome of a criminal case. The Collateral Consequences Resource Center recently posted on DAPA . The post also contained a link to a practice advisory for criminal defense lawyers in dealing with this issue. I highly recommend downloading the practice advisory prepared by the National Immigration Project.
Without getting into the who is qualified for DAPA , lets look at what criminal offenses disqualify one from the program.
- A felony conviction.
- Three misdemeanor convictions.
- Conviction of one significant misdemeanor.
The enforcement memo defines a significant misdemeanor as ;
- Domestic violence
- Sexual abuse or exploitation
- Unlawful possession or use of a firearm
- Drug sales
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Sentences of 90 days or more ,excluding suspended sentences
Criminal defense lawyers must master criminal law , criminal procedure and evidence . Now , we must know immigration law or consult with immigration lawyers.
Tomorrow , I will be discussing the strategies in dealing with these new problems.