Effective December 1, 2013, Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure requires that, before accepting a plea of guilty, the defendant must be advised in open court of whether a plea of guilty or nolo contendere might subject the defendant to removal from the United States and/or an inability to return to this country in the future.
This change results from the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Padilla v. Kentucky, 130 S. Ct. 1473 (2010), finding that the failure to give a defendant this warning prior to accepting any plea would constitute ineffective assistance of counsel. While most of our clients do not face these consequences, this change is an important reminder of the possible immigration consequences from what might appear as only the most routine criminal proceedings. Charges of driving while intoxicated or under the influence, for example, can have significant immigration repercussions. Thus, it is important to consider the possible immigration consequences of any arrest or possible criminal proceeding with which any FN employee might be involved.