Partner, Derek DeCosmo, visits St. Joseph Pro Cathedral in Camden, NJ to discuss the impact of New Jersey's "Immigrant Trust Directive" that went into full effect on March 15, 2019. The directive issued by New Jersey's Attorney General places restrictions on local restriction on when and how the cooperate with ICE. Mr. DeCosmo said, "The initiative is intended to strengthen the trust between New Jersey's immigrant communities and local law enforcement, which is critical to good community policing efforts." Mr. DeCosmo further stated, "In cities like Camden we see the safety benefits of strong relationships between immigrants and local law enforcement. Immigrants do not fear that ICE will be called if they come forward when they are a victim of a crime or a witness to a crime."
Partner, Derek DeCosmo, argued an important issue before the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals that will have a major impact on lawful permanent residents who have previously been convicted of a drug offense. Mr. DeCosmo argued that a conviction in New Jersey for possession of CDS with intent to distribute in a school zone is not a CDS conviction under federal immigration law. He further argued that the Government's position breaks with almost thirty years of federal jurisprudence and practice of comparing a state criminal statute of conviction to the single most similar federal statute to determine whether or not the state conviction is aggravated felony for immigration purposes. You can listen to the argument at the link below.
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Individuals who have come to live in the United States from other countries often have more concerns than people who were born in New Jersey and other parts of the country. In particular, if an immigrant is accused of a crime, he or she faces a serious ordeal. Not only does that person have to worry about the punishments that a conviction could have but also the effects a conviction or even an arrest could have on immigration status.
When a person carries out a rash action, it is possible that criminal charges could result, even if the situation does not seem that serious. If the person charged is also an immigrant in New Jersey or other parts of the United States, it is possible for his or her immigration status to come into question. As a result, a so-called crimmigration case could begin.