Michael was proud to be named one of the Best Lawyers in the United States for Immigration Law 2008. Originally taking on political asylum and certain deportation cases on a pro bono basis or at a greatly reduced fee, Michael is regularly invited to lecture at State Bar CLEs on immigration topics  and is often consulted on immigration matters related to criminal conduct.

Michael has appeared on immigration matters before the Federal District Court for the District of Arizona, the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, as well as the United States Department of Justice, Executive Office of Immigration Review (more commonly known as “Immigration Court”). Michael has represented clients in Immigration Courts  (by order of frequency) in Phoenix, Florence, Tucson, Eloy, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and before the EOIR Board of Immigration Appeals in Falls Church, Va.

Michael has handled matters involving political asylum, the Convention Against Torture, suspension and cancellation of removal, charges of inadmissibility and excludability, as well as allegations of terrorism.

Immigration Consequences

There is a false and convenient legal distinction between “direct” and “collateral” consequences. This was remedied, in part, by the United States Supreme Court in a case called Padilla v. Kentucky just a few years ago. And I should mention that I was proud that the Justices in Padilla cited the work by my good friend, former University of Arizona Law Professor Jack Chin, and his prescient Law Review article on this precise subject.

However, one of the things I notice when I look at the current caselaw, and look at the way immigration consequences are now being taught, I notice there’s huge emphasis on deportation (they now call it “Removal” ), at the expense of all the other consequences, some of which are pretty bad.

For example, how many of you know that even a suspended license ticket, even if it won’t get you deported, will automatically render you ineligible to even apply for citizenship for five years from the date of conviction? I’ve seen it happen. And how many of you know that the definition of “conviction” for immigration purposes includes many cases that were dismissed? So, even if your suspended license ticket got dismissed, it’s possible you might not be able to even apply for citizenship for five years.

That’s pretty harsh. So is the fact that when you leave the United States for a vacation, they might not let you back in, if you’ve been accused of certain crimes, even minor ones. This is called inadmissibility.