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Cook County residents who are not U.S. citizens – including green card holders – risk being deported if they’re convicted of certain crimes. Defense attorneys and judges are supposed to inform noncitizens if the charges they’re facing could lead to their deportation, but that doesn’t always happen. To address this oversight, the Cook County Public Defender’s Office created a new immigration unit that will work with public defenders, prosecutors and community groups to ensure that noncitizens are warned when a plea deal could hurt their ability to stay in the U.S.
We asked Hena Mansori, the head of the new immigration unit, to offer advice for noncitizens who come into contact with the justice system. The five tips below are based on that conversation. Click here to download a PDF version.