Immigrant Defense Oregon

The Padilla Project

“[C]hanges to our immigration law have dramatically raised the stakes of a noncitizen’s criminal conviction. The importance of accurate legal advice for noncitizens accused of crimes has never been more important. These changes confirm our view that, as a matter of federal law, deportation is an integral part—indeed, sometimes the most important part—of the penalty that may be imposed on noncitizen defendants who plead guilty to specified crimes.... Counsel who possess the most rudimentary understanding of the deportation consequences of a particular criminal offense may be able to plea bargain creatively with the prosecutor in order to craft a conviction and sentence that reduce the likelihood of deportation, as by avoiding a conviction for an offense that automatically triggers the removal consequence.”
— The United States Supreme Court, Padilla v. Kentucky, 559 U.S. 356 (2010).

The Padilla Project

IDO attorneys, through the Padilla Project, provide free immigration advice to criminal defense attorneys statewide so that they may advise their clients on the potential immigration consequences of their charges of assist them in making decisions in their case.

The Padilla Project was founded by the Metropolitan Public Defender years ago in response to the Supreme Court's holding in Padilla v. Kentucky. In that case, the Supreme Court ruled that criminal defense attorneys are required under the 6th Amendment to correctly advise their clients of potential immigration consequences of the criminal charges they face. Funded by the Office of Public Defense Services, the Padilla Project has provided over 1,000 individual consultations providing immigration analyses and advice to defense attorneys across the state of Oregon. Now, as an integral part of IDO, our attorneys seek to not only assist attorneys in providing their constitutionally mandated advice to their clients, but to improve the case outcome of immigrant defendants in Oregon with thorough analyses and strategic advise on how to structure pleas and sentences to avoid negative immigration consequences.

in 2017 alone, IDO has provided hundreds of individual advisories to oregon criminal defense attorneys representing immigrants.

Starting in 2018, the work of the Padilla Project is now fully dedicated to providing a more holistic criminal defense to MPD's own public defense clients. As an organization we are dedicated to informing and influencing the trajectory of an immigrant client's criminal case to minimize immigration consequences wherever possible. Each client is assigned an immigration attorney as early as possible in their case to give both the defense attorney and the client as much assistance as they might need in navigating the treacherously complicated legal area of criminal and immigration law and potential subsequent removal proceedings.

Finally, under the Padilla Project we are developing public resources and materials on Oregon crimes and plea strategies. Stay tuned to our website for updates!