Supreme Court Ruling Saved Immigrant from Deportation

The Supreme Court has issued a decision this week that will help many non-citizens avoid being deported. A state drug offense is not considered an “aggravated felony” unless it is punishable as a felony under federal law. A second or subsequent simple possession drug offense is not punishable as a felony under federal law unless the prosecutor charges the defendant as a recidivist before trial or before a guilty plea. On June 14, 2010, the Supreme Court ruled that when a defendant has been convicted of a second or subsequent simple possession drug offense that has not been enhanced as a result of a prior conviction, the defendant has not been convicted of an offense that is punishable as a felony under federal law and has therefore not been convicted of an “aggravated felony.” Carachuri-Rosendo v. Holder, 2010 WL 2346552, at *11 (U.S. June 14, 2010).The Supreme Court’s decision will help one of my clients who is currently in deportation proceedings. His case was put on hold by the immigration judge, pending the outcome of this Supreme Court case. My client obtained his permanent residence (“green card”) in 1981, is married to a U.S. citizen, and has two simple possession drug convictions. Prior to the Supreme Court’s decision, my client was ineligible for cancellation of removal because he was considered to have been convicted of an “aggravated felony.” However, my client was not charged as a recidivist when he was prosecuted for his second simple possession drug offense. Therefore, as a result of the Supreme Court’s decision, my client is no longer considered to have been convicted of an “aggravated felony” and my client is now eligible to apply for cancellation of removal. If his application for cancellation of removal is granted, he will be able to remain in the United States. The Supreme Court’s decision has saved him from deportation.


Civil sanctions imposed on United States citizens convicted of a felony in many states include the loss of competence to serve on a grand or petit jury or to vote in elections even after release from prison. While controversial, these disabilities are explicitly sanctioned by the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, a Reconstruction-era amendment that deals with permissible state regulation of voting rights.

I am desperately seeking advice (and searching for legal counsel) for the following case. I'm trying to help someone that I've known dearly for 11 years who was deported in 2004 to Mexico for a 2000 cocaine conviction/aggravated felony. He did 3 years probation, rehab and had completely turned his life back around to how it was before he made a few bad choices/friends when out of the blue he was deported.

At the time of his deportation, the attorney did not give him his full options and said there was nothing that he could do. So, there was no fight to prevent the deportation. Obviously, had he known his rights/choices, the energy would have been placed into remaining into the country, getting the charges expunged/reduced or getting permission to be allowed back in the country after a few years.

This gentleman was a permanent resident in San Diego, California for more than 30 years at the time of his deportation. His parents are both permanent US residents and his two younger brothers are natural US citizens. Obviously, everyone involved would love to see him get back into the States to be with family and also to start a new life (get married and live a law-abiding life).

I know this is a severe and challenging case, but I'm determined to try every avenue to help fight for someone that was not given that opportunity and who deserves a second chance.

I thought I replied to this, but don't see it. Did you get my reply. We handle these types of cases regularly. You may call us at 713-850-0066 if you would like to arrange for a telephone appointment.

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