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IDP Supports Successful Challenge to Depriving Noncitizen Defendants of the Benefits of Their Plea-Bargains

On January 30, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Matter of Silva-Trevino, a controversial decision of former Attorney General Mukasey that requires immigration authorities in certain cases to re-try the facts of criminal cases to determine whether the defendant engaged in deportable misconduct rather than relying on the facts established beyond a reasonable doubt in the criminal court.  The effect of this ruling, which has now been rejected in four federal circuits, was to deprive defendants of the benefits of plea bargains negotiated with prosecutors and judges in exchange for waiving their rights to trials, and force them to re-litigate the facts of their convictions all over again in immigration court with few procedural protections.  Prudencio v. Holder, ___ F.3d ___ (4th Cir. Jan. 30, 2012). IDP and allied organizations filed an amicus brief in the case.  Amici were represented by the Kathryn O. Greenberg Immigration Justice Clinic at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. For more information on IDP’s and others’ efforts to challenge Matter of Silva-Trevino, click here.

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