Denver area chosen for program to suspend deportations
The president announced months ago that immigration cases pending before the immigration courts would be reviewed, and that cases of those with extensive family ties, and no previous criminal record, may be suspended without deportation as a consequence. The New York Times recently published an article that announces exactly this program, put into place in Denver as a pilot project. If you case is pending before the immigration office in Denver, and you do not have a criminal record or reasons justifying mandatory deportation, this program may allow a person to stay indefinitely in the country. This program however does not appear to offer any other immigration benefit, like identification, work permission, or permanent residency. This program is quite new, so details are still developing. The link for the full article is here: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/17/us/deportation-cases-of-illegal-immigrants-to-be-reviewed.html?_r=3&ref=us#
The link for further review of a recent Memorandum by the Department, is also referenced available here.
This new program will absolutely change the advisement a defense attorney must provide to an accused client; under the previous Pozo case, an effective attorney must advise the client about potential immigration consequences for pleas involving mandatory deportation. The availability of a new form of relief must now become part of nearly every criminal plea bargain, since any criminal conviction for a person without prior convictions will result in deportation, while those who escape criminal conviction will likely continue to remain in this country. The consequences of a criminal conviction for any alien without previous history is now more severe, since they may be able to legally remain in this country without a deportation consequence despite the lack of documents allowing them to remain.