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Immigration Impact Unit

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that criminal defense attorneys have a Sixth Amendment duty to advise their clients about immigration consequences of their criminal cases, and that failure to do so is ineffective assistance of counsel. Padilla v. Kentucky, 130 S.Ct. 1473 (2010). The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has held that Padilla applies retroactively to convictions obtained on or after April 1, 1997. Commonwealth v. Sylvain, 466 Mass. 422 (2013).
The CPCS Immigration Impact Unit is located in the Somerville Superior Court office of CPCS.  We are available to all CPCS staff attorneys and bar advocates for assistance on matters affecting noncitizen clients.  We advise attorneys on minimizing adverse immigration consequences in individual cases.  We also provide trainings throughout Massachusetts on the immigration consequences of criminal conduct, distribute written training materials and updates on significant legal issues, and provide post-conviction litigation support. 

Immigration consequences to an individual client depend on the interplay between her immigration status, her prior criminal history and the pending charges. If you are a CPCS staff attorney or bar advocate and would like assistance analyzing the immigration consequences for a client, please fill out our intake form, linked below.
** Dookhan/Hinton lab drug cases: In addition to the countless ways in which the Annie Dookhan/DPH Hinton drug lab scandal has impacted thousands of criminal defendants throughout Massachusetts, it has likely resulted in the detention in immigration custody and deportation of numerous noncitizens. Noncitizen clients with Dookhan/Hinton lab drug convictions pose unique issues and considerations. Please see the October 2012 IIU practice advisory for a detailed discussion of such issues and concerns that should be addressed with clients before filing motions to stay executions of sentences or motions for new trial. Dookhan Practice Advisory **


CPCS Immigration Impact Unit
21 McGrath Highway
Somerville, MA  02143
TEL: 617-623-0591
FAX: 617-623-0936

Wendy S. Wayne

Jennifer Klein
Immigration Law Specialist

Emma Winger
Immigration Law Specialist

IIU Intake Form

Immigrant Defense News

Training and Practice Materials

Significant Cases and Monthly Case Notes

Upcoming Trainings

Links to Other Resources