Friday, April 2, 2010

Non citizens, guilty pleas and deportation

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that defendants are entitled to know that the potential consequences of a guilty plea include deportation for noncitizens, a decision that could have broader significance for the more than 12.8 million legal immigrants who live in the U.S. . . .

"In the best of all possible worlds, criminal defendants contemplating a guilty plea ought to be advised of all serious collateral consequences of conviction, and surely ought not to be misadvised," Scalia wrote.

What does it say about our immigration policies when we need to develop a special field of jurisprudence to govern the criminal prosecution and sixth amendment rights of non citizens? Rather than developing rules to govern the criminal prosecution of non citizens, we should develop rules to better screen entrants in order to keep out non citizen criminals.

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