Today in legal history...

Friday, January 07, 2011

US AG ruled deportation cannot be challenged for ineffective legal assistance

On January 7, 2009, US Attorney General Michael Mukasey ruled that aliens may no longer challenge deportation hearings based on ineffective assistance of counsel. Mukasey's opinion, which is binding on immigration courts and the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), held that immigrants have no constitutional right to a new deportation hearing if their lawyers make mistakes. The ruling overturned precedent set by the BIA in 1988 in Matter of Lozada, which held that although aliens have no Sixth Amendment right to counsel in deportation hearings, they do have a right to effective assistance of counsel under the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment. The ruling was criticized by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the American Bar Association (ABA).

Learn more about US immigration law and ineffective assistance of counsel from the JURIST news archive.

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