How does the 6th amendment right to effective counsel apply to a non-citizen?
Jose Padilla, a legal permanent resident, originally from Honduras has legally resided in the United States for forty years and served in the United States Army during Vietnam faces deportation after a plea bargain on drug charges. He was thoughtful enough to ask his counsel if his plea would effect his status and he was told that he “did not have to worry about immigration status since he had been in the country so long.” That statement could not be more wrong.
Mr. Padilla (no relationship to the al-Quida suspect) now faces permanent deportation from a country that has been the lawful home to him and his family for forty years. He has petitioned to set aside his guilty plea and go to trial. His case is now pending a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.