Often, the most serious concern for a noncitizen client is the impact a criminal disposition will have on his immigration status. The IIU works alongside appointed counsel to advise noncitizens about the immigration consequences of criminal dispositions and to mitigate those consequences where possible
What We Do: In 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court 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). Since then, the Supreme Judicial Court has decided a number of significant cases clarifying the extent of the duty in Massachusetts.
The CPCS Immigration Impact Unit (IIU) is here to assist defense attorneys in fulfilling their duty. In addition to advice 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. If you are a CPCS staff attorney or bar advocate and would like assistance analyzing the immigration consequences for a client, please fill out and submit our intake form, linked below. The information you provide on the intake form is necessary for a complete and accurate analysis.
All practice advisories, sample motions and other materials can be found under the “Professional Resources” link in the upper right hand of this page.
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