RIVERSIDE, Calif., May 31, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Attorney Zulu Ali, a state and federal trial and appellate attorney, has lobbied State Trial and Appeals Courts and State Legislators to reform advisements regarding immigration consequences of criminal charges provided to noncitizens accused of crimes before they enter plea bargain agreements.
Attorney Ali, a Tennessee native who is a former Police Officer and U.S. Marine Corps veteran, advises that in 1977 California Legislators enacted Penal Code 1016.5 to promote fairness by requiring the entry of plea by a noncitizen to be proceeded by an appropriate warning of the special consequences that may result from the plea. However, since the enactment of the statute, there has been vast changes regarding immigration law that impact the consequences of entering a guilty plea other than those mentioned in the statute, resulting in the advisements currently given being outdated and unfair.
Ali argues that in light of the vast changes in immigration laws since the enactment of the statute, the advisements given by the Courts is extremely unfair and does nothing more than force ill-advised noncitizen defendants into deportation, impacting the lives of the noncitizen and their families. If noncitizens are properly advised, they can challenge the charges by going to trial or seeking an alternative plea.
As recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court in Padilla vs. Kentucky, the consequences of a guilty plea on a noncitizen is extremely important as the consequences of the resulting immigration consequences are often more important and significant to the noncitizen than the criminal charge itself. Without being adequately advised of those consequences, a knowing and intelligent wavier of a right to challenge the charges cannot be adequately made.
Ali is proposing that the statute include advisements related to the consequences related to relief from removal, including cancellation of removal, asylum, and adjustment of status; as well, as full advisement to be reflected on the record and not buried in some generic boilerplate plea agreement.
Ali has filed challenges to the lack of advisement in trial and appellate courts, and organized the Immigration Criminal Advisement Reform Committee to lobby State Legislators to modify the statute to adequately advise noncitizens of immigration consequences before entering a plea agreement.
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SOURCE Law Office of Zulu Ali