Siskind Susser

Green Card LotteryABCs of ImmigrationHiring A LawyerHealth Care Info CenterImmigration SitesFashion, Arts & / Sports Newsletter

Siskind Immigration Bulletin Request Consultation Ask Visalaw Client Login
About the Firm
Our Offices
Our Team
In the News
Practice Areas and Services
Scheduling a Consultation
ABCs of Immigration
Requests For Proposals
Press Room

Immigration Forms
Government Processing Times
State Department Visa Bulletin
Siskind's Immigration Professional
Working in America
Washington Updates
The Visalaw Blog



< back



In Goncalves v. Reno the First Circuit decided the issue of whether the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1994 (AEDPA) 440(d), as amended by the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRAIRA), eliminates eligibility for INA 212(c) relief retroactively for aliens convicted of crimes involving moral turpitude. The plaintiff in this case was Goncalves, a man who had been a permanent resident alien of the United States (U.S.) for 25 years. He became subject to deportation because he committed crimes involving moral turpitude, such as theft, possession of marijuana, receiving stolen property, etc.

In 1994, Goncalves filed for discretionary relief from deportation under INA 212(c). In 1996, while his application was still pending, Congress passed AEDPA, and it was later amended by IIRAIRA. The government claimed that since the provisions in AEDPA were intended to apply retroactively, Goncalves should be deported, and his application should be dropped. After an Immigration Judge denied his 212(c) application, Goncalves appealed. Finally, after examining the legislative histories of the AEDPA and the IIRIRA, the First Circuit Court of Appeals found that Congress did not intend the provision in the AEDPA to apply retroactively to this situation. This means that Goncalves is now entitled to a deportation hearing before the BIA.

In an unrelated case from the Fourth Circuit, U.S. v. Gajendragadkar, the court overturned the defendant's guilty plea due to ineffective assistance of counsel. The defendant, a physician, had originally pleaded guilty to over-billing his medical patients because counsel assured him that it would not cause him to be deported under the current immigration laws at that time. Counsel also advised the defendant that even if Congress amended the laws the Ex Post Facto Clause would protect him. That advice was wrong. Defendant pleaded guilty, and Congress changed the immigration laws to apply retroactively causing defendant to face deportation. The court's decision in this case overturns the guilty plea, allowing defendant to stand trial. If he's found not guilty, then he avoids deportation.

< Back | Next >

Disclaimer: This newsletter is provided as a public service and not intended to establish an attorney client relationship. Any reliance on information contained herein is taken at your own risk.

Siskind Susser Bland
1028 Oakhaven Rd.
Memphis, TN 38119
T. 800-343-4890 or 901-682-6455
F. 901-682-6394

Home | Immigration Bulletin | Green Card Lottery Center | ABCs of Immigration | Hiring A Lawyer
Hot Topics | Health Care Info Center | Immigration Sites | Search

This is an advertisement. Certification as an Immigration Specialist is not currently available in Tennessee. Siskind Susser Bland limits its practice strictly to immigration law, a Federal practice area, and we do not claim expertise in the laws of states other than where our attorneys are licensed. Siskind Susser Bland does not retain clients on the strength of advertising materials alone but only after following our own engagement procedures (e.g. interviews, conflict checks, retainer agreements). The information contained on this site is intended to educate members of the public generally and is not intended to provide solutions to individual problems. Readers are cautioned not to attempt to solve individual problems on the basis of information contained herein and are strongly advised to seek competent legal counsel before relying on information on this site. Siskind Susser Bland and its advertisers are independent of each other and advertisers on this site are not being endorsed by Siskind Susser Bland by virtue of the fact that they appear on this page. Site is maintained by Siskind Susser Bland's Memphis, TN office and overseen by Gregory Siskind. Copyright  2003-2006 Siskind Susser Bland. All rights reserved.