02/22/2012 11:02:00 AM EST
Tenacious lawyers, Supreme Court ruling help free Texas immigrant
"Naz's attorneys kept searching for ways to keep him from being
deported, eventually deciding to challenge the original drug conviction.
Eventually, a Cook County district attorney agreed to reopen the case
when Naz's attorneys cited a 2009 Supreme Court ruling that defense
attorneys must clearly spell out any impact to a client's immigration
status before taking a plea deal. When they dug into the case there was
no evidence Naz's attorney had done so. What's more, the sheriff's
department couldn't find the evidence needed to rehear the case. The DA
filed a motion to dismiss the seven-year-old drug charge, and
immigration authorities cleared Naz to leave Pearsall earlier this
month, after almost a year in immigrant detention.
Now together again in Waco, Hope and Naz know firsthand a troubling
facet of current immigration policy: it's a system slim on second
chances. Due to a glaring error by Naz's original defense team in 2007,
and the tenacity of his defenders, he was lucky enough to get one." - Michael Barajas, San Antonio Current, Feb. 22, 2012.