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CA3 on Ineffective Assistance of Counsel: Saint Ford v. Garland

May 17, 2022 (1 min read)

Saint Ford v. Garland

"The need for effective assistance of counsel applies in immigration law just as it does in criminal law. Aliens, many of whom do not speak English and some of whom are detained before their immigration hearings, can be particularly susceptible to the consequences of ineffective lawyers. Petitioner Arckange Saint Ford paid a lawyer to represent him in removal proceedings, but Saint Ford’s requests for relief from deportation were denied after the lawyer failed to present important and easily available evidence going to the heart of Saint Ford’s claims. Saint Ford retained new counsel, and his new lawyer asked the Board of Immigration Appeals to reopen his case because of his former attorney’s ineffective assistance. The Board declined to do so. Because Saint Ford presents a meritorious ineffective-assistance claim, we will vacate the Board’s decision and remand."

[Hats off to Andrew Painter!]