April 2018

April 2018 Cover

When representing a noncitizen client, it is essential that defense attorneys understand the adverse immigration consequences of drug offenses?


Articles in this Issue

  1. Affiliate News

    Affiliate News for April 2018 Champion

    Gerald Lippert

  2. Book Review: Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions

    If you do not believe anything more can be said about the immigrant experience, I encourage you to read the short treatise by award-winning author Valeria Luiselli, Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions. Valeria’s prose and unique perspective as a court interpreter coalesce into a narrative that packs a punch. An immigrant herself, she volunteered in 2015 to interpret for unaccompanied minors during the waves of children who were detained crossing into the United States from the southern border. Most of us are aware that thousands of unaccompanied minors have come from Central America, fleeing violence in their home countries of El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. It has been reported that due to escalating hostility in the United States toward immigrants, an increasing number of Central Americans are now traveling only as far as Mexico and seeking asylum there. However, the essence of what we can learn from this book remains significant, particularly when we consider that as recently as April 2014 thru August 2015 more than 102,000 unaccompanied children were detained at the U.S. border.

    Linda Friedman Ramirez

  3. Book Review: The Chickenshit Club: Why the Justice Department Fails to Prosecute Executives

    Who (or what) killed the corporate criminal prosecution? That is the question at the heart of Jesse Eisinger’s The Chickenshit Club, an inquest into the reasons why (in Eisinger’s view) federal prosecutors have lost the skills, guts, and legal tools needed to successfully prosecute companies and the executives who work there.

    Catherine M. Recker and Andrew T. George

  4. From the President: The Siren Song of Objectivity: Risk Assessment Tools and Racial Disparity

    Promoted as a method to combat inherent bias in the criminal justice system, risk assessment instruments are being adopted around the country at the pretrial and parole phases. While advocates claim that risk assessment algorithms can reduce the impact of bias in the criminal justice system, opponents caution otherwise.

    Rick Jones

  5. In Memoriam: Burt Shostak Remembered as Lawyer and Teacher

    Everybody in the courthouse knew Missouri defense attorney Burton Shostak. He interacted with everyone because he believed that everyone mattered. Shostak, who practiced in St. Louis, died on April 22, 2018. He was an NACDL Life Member, and two of his friends recently reflected on his service to the organization and the legal profession.


  6. Informal Opinion: Client Is Prejudiced by Erroneous Immigration Advice Even When No Bona Fide Defens

    A defendant is prejudiced by his attorney’s erroneous immigration law advice, even if his chances of avoiding deportation are minimal, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Lee v. United States.

    Nadine Wettstein

  7. Inside NACDL: Words Have Power

    When advocates receive The Champion magazine each month, they can use the powerful words within its pages to help fight injustice.

    Quintin Chatman

  8. NACDL News: NACDL Adopts Resolution Concerning ICE in the Courthouse

    <p>At its Spring Meeting and Seminar, on April 21, 2018, NACDL’s Board of Directors adopted the resolution: <em>Concerning ICE in the Courthouse</em>. On Jan. 10, 2018, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued Directive Number 11072.1, which directs ICE officers and agents to conduct civil immigration enforcement actions inside courthouses. There have been documented cases of ICE arrests in, immediately outside, and en route to courthouses resulting in detention that have caused residents to miss parole obligations, drug treatment services, mental health evaluations, court hearings, and other critical services and obligations. There has also been heightened and widespread fear from resident clients that accessing the court system will lead to arrest, deportation, and/or other negative immigration consequences.</p>

    Ivan J. Dominguez, Alexandra Funk, and Ian Nawalinski

  9. NACDL News: NACDL Executive Director Norman Reimer Receives Award from the Immigrant Defense Project

    NACDL Executive Director Norman L. Reimer received the Champion of Justice Award from the Immigrant Defense Project (IDP) on April 10, at its 20th Anniversary Gala in New York City.

    Ivan J. Dominguez, Alexandra Funk, and Ian Nawalinski

  10. NACDL News: NACDL Laments Trump Rhetoric on Death Penalty

    During a speech in New Hampshire on March 19, 2018, President Donald Trump made clear his view about the importance of harsh sentencing, including the death penalty for “big pushers,” as a tool in the fight against a growing epidemic of drug addiction.

    Ivan J. Dominguez, Alexandra Funk, and Ian Nawalinski

  11. NACDL News: NACDL Launches Fourth Amendment Center

    Safeguarding the fundamental values embraced by the Fourth Amendment’s guarantee to protect the individual from government searches and seizures has created new challenges for defense lawyers. In response to these challenges, on April 24, 2018, NACDL announced the establishment of the NACDL Fourth Amendment Center.

    Ivan J. Dominguez, Alexandra Funk, and Ian Nawalinski

  12. NACDL News: NACDL Past President Neal Sonnett Receives ABA Award

    On April 28, 2018, the American Bar Association (ABA) Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division awarded NACDL Past President Neal R. Sonnett with its 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award. This award recognizes the efforts and accomplishments of outstanding solo and small firm practitioners as well as bar leaders and associations.

    Ivan J. Dominguez, Alexandra Funk, and Ian Nawalinski

  13. NACDL News: NACDL Presents Four Awards at FCJ Gala Celebrating NACDL’s 60th Anniversary

    At the Foundation for Criminal Justice (FCJ) Gala celebrating “NACDL at 60 Years” on April 20, 2018, in New York City, NACDL presented four awards.

    Ivan J. Dominguez, Alexandra Funk, and Ian Nawalinski

  14. NACDL News: Women in Criminal Defense Committee Hosts Andrea Lyon Book Signing

    Andrea Lyon conducts a book signing on April 19, 2018, in New York City. Her book, The Feminine Sixth: Women for the Defense, draws on the considerable experience of nine accomplished lawyers to shine a light on the essential role and immense contributions of women in the legal profession. Hosted by the NACDL Women in Criminal Defense Committee, the book signing took place during the Association’s Spring Meeting and Seminar. Pictured at the event are Andrea Lyon and former Illinois Gov. George Ryan.

    Ivan J. Dominguez, Alexandra Funk, and Ian Nawalinski

  15. NACDL® 2018 Election Procedures

    NACDL® 2018 Election Procedures April 2018 Champion


  16. Proving a Negative: Challenging Unsubstantiated Gang Allegations in Immigration Court

    Identification of an individual as associated with or as a member of a gang functions as a proxy for immigration enforcement. Many immigrants are identified by law enforcement as gang members or affiliates based on scant evidence – a doodle in a school notebook, a tattoo, an anonymous witness statement, a Facebook post, or simply living in a certain neighborhood. The authors describe how allegations of gang membership or affiliation play out in immigration court, where an immigration judge has broad discretionary authority to grant or deny legal relief. In addition, the authors summarize strategies attorneys in immigrant-friendly jurisdictions have used to defend clients against gang allegations. Notably, the lack of appointed counsel in immigration court means that criminal defense lawyers are often the only lawyers an immigrant will ever interact with during the criminal-immigration removal process.

    Rachel Jordan, Adina Appelbaum, and Saba N. Ahmed

  17. Remarks from the Foundation for Criminal Justice 2018 Awards Dinner

    Remarks from the Foundation for Criminal Justice 2018 Awards Dinner


  18. The Basic Steps a Criminal Defender Must Take to Understand the Adverse Immigration Consequences

    of Drug Offenses

    When a criminal defense attorney sees a drug or drug-related charge alleged against a noncitizen client, the attorney should immediately think of immigration consequences. The main defense strategies for drug cases are as follows, in order of preference: (1) avoiding a drug conviction entirely through dismissal or negotiation; (2) if a drug conviction is unavoidable, avoid an aggravated felony; (3) plead to a substance that is not federally controlled; or (4) create a vague record of conviction as to the substance if the state law is overbroad.

    Graciela Martinez and Evan Franzel

  19. The Great Writ: Challenging Illegal Immigration Detention Through Habeas Corpus

    Attorneys can use federal habeas corpus petitions to impose constitutional limitations on the detention and custody review practices of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the immigration courts. Zoey Jones and Andrea Saenz share five lessons learned by an immigration public defender program that has filed habeas corpus petitions that have liberated clients and established significant case law concerning due process and the right to seek release from detention.

    Zoey Jones and Andrea Saenz

  20. Won’t My Client Just Be Deported Anyway? What Appellate Counsel Can Do for the Noncitizen Client

    Conviction consequences for a noncitizen can be particularly severe: deportation has no statute of limitations, no blanket prohibition on retroactivity, and no right to court-appointed counsel if indigent. Because even inadvertent errors may lead to the worst possible consequences, appeal as of right is a critical safeguard for the client that counsel should seek in nearly every case. Initially, counsel must evaluate the noncitizen’s criminal history, immigration status, and conviction on appeal. A remand may not be in the client’s best interests when the original charges have worse consequences and the prospects at trial are bad. When the conviction on appeal has immigration consequences, counsel can pursue several paths to prevent deportation.

    Ryan Muennich