In Michigan
6:10 pm
Thu June 3, 2010

Immigration ruling up for public comment

LANSING, MI –

The Michigan Supreme Court says it's not ready to adopt a new rule that would require judges to warn criminal defendants their guilty pleas could affect their immigration status.

The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of a man who was born in Honduras but is a legal U.S. resident. Jose Padilla was a truck driver charged with transporting marijuana, but he said his lawyer never told him he could be deported for a guilty plea.

Michigan Justice Stephen Markman says putting responsibility on judges may be going too far. He says the U.S. Supreme Court ruled defense attorneys have to tell non-US citizen clients that guilty pleas could have an impact on their immigration consequences.

"That's fine, and I'll abide by their authority, but I'm not inclined to anticipate what they're going to do in the next case or expand the modified court rule beyond the four corners of Padilla," he says.

The state Supreme Court is expected to take the rule back up after the public comment period.