Tennessee immigrant's case to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court

It may surprise readers to learn that a Tennessee immigration case, Lee v. U.S., has made it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. At issue is whether an immigrant from South Korea is properly facing deportation charges after pleading guilty to an alleged drug crime. The man, who is a legal resident, claims that his lawyer incorrectly advised him that accepting the plea agreement would not put him at risk for deportation.

There is some legal precedent to support the man's position. A case from the 1980s, called Strickland v. Washington, clarified the grounds on which a conviction might be overturned based on ineffective legal counsel. For relief, the individual must show that he or she received incorrect legal advice, and further, that the advice resulted in harm.

This story underscores the importance of consulting with a law firm that focuses on immigration law when deportation questions arise. Although the man in this story may have avoided a long prison sentence, the ensuing deportation proceeding and protracted legal dispute may have been a worse outcome.

Our law firm has helped many immigrants facing deportation. We provide quick and efficient services in that situation. We also evaluate an immigrant's options for obtaining legal status, even some with prior criminal records. One option is to request a waiver, allowing an immigrant to state in Tennessee while he or she applies for legal status. Under current law, an immigrant may qualify for a waiver if deportation would cause a severe hardship to immediate family members left behind, such as a parent, spouse or child. Examples of hardship may include health concerns, financial dependency, educational needs, or other special factors.

Source: The Tennesseean, "U.S. Supreme Court to decide fate of Tennessee immigrant," Stacey Barchenger, March 27, 2017

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