As part of its “enforcement priorities,” Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced the recent arrest of over two dozen people with DUI convictions in connection with “Operation Secure Streets.”
According to ICE’s press release, 24 of the people apprehended “have been convicted of violations concerning the operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Each was taken into custody and is currently being detained pending the completion of removal proceedings.” Only one of the individuals apprehended did not have a DUI-related conviction.
This operation (of targeting people with DUI convictions) was part of ICE’s commitment “to remove public safety threats from our communities.” ICE stated it “will continue to arrest and remove these criminal aliens for the safety of our city’s residents.”
In the past, many people who were pulled over for driving under the influence thought nothing of quickly pleading guilty and perhaps attending some courses. Many handled these DUI charges on their own.
Previous discussions about ICE “enforcement priorities” (meaning the people ICE should focus on deportingremoving), usually meant hardened criminals, terrorists, and others who were truly threats to the safety and security of our citizens. Now, people with a minor DUI could be arrested, detained, and processed for removal from the US.
That is why it is so important when being charged with any crime to have a criminal attorney represent you, and if you are not a US citizen, it would be advisable to also have an immigration attorney work with the criminal attorney, to advise on the possible immigration consequences of any plea deal. Many times, a non-citizen (even a green card holder) pled guilty to some charge, only to later discover the plea made them deportable.
Michael J. Gurfinkel has been an attorney for over 35 years and is licensed, and an active member of the State Bars of California and New York. All immigration services are provided by, or under the supervision of, an active member of the State Bar of California. Each case is different and results may depend on the facts of the particular case. The information and opinions contained herein (including testimonials, “Success Stories,” endorsements and re-enactments) are of a general nature, and are not intended to apply to any particular case, and do not constitute a prediction, warranty, guarantee or legal advice regarding the outcome of your legal matter. No attorney-client relationship is, or shall be, established with any reader.
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The Philippine Star- March 11, 2018 – 12:00am