The Florida Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments in three cases involving undocumented immigrants who are facing deportation for criminal charges.
The three men are allege that their criminal defense attorneys gave them bad advice and the decision handed down by the justices would redefine an attorney’s responsibilities whose clients face deportation for pleading guilty to criminal charges.
In many cases, immigration attorneys have a better chance of helping their clients avoid deportation if they appear before the court. In the cases of the three men appearing before the Florida Supreme Court, they were told to plead guilty to criminal charges and were not informed that they would be deported.
In 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on a Kentucky case and concluded that illegal immigrants have a constitutional right to be informed that a guilty plea will lead to deportation.
As with many cases before the immigration courts, the three Florida men were brought to the country illegally as children by parents, who did not utilize experienced immigration lawyers to help them get legal documents. Their crimes were committed in their youth and were minor, but their attorneys urged them to plead guilty without advising them of the ramifications. Now, they face returning to countries they have never lived in and may not speak the language.
Deportation is an inevitability that any undocumented immigrant faces. This, however, can be avoid simply by hiring an immigration attorney to get them HB-1 visas, work visas, green cards or naturalization.