Melinda Smith


This paper provides criminal defense attorneys with a basic background for understanding their noncitizen clients. First, this paper presents a sociological look at immigration in Part II, including a look at modern anti-immigration sentiment, the assimilation process, and the psychological effects of readjustment. Part III explains the basics of immigration law as well as the legal backdrop for the drastic changes in the laws affecting immigrants that took place in 1996. This segment includes a discussion of the constitutional rights historically afforded aliens, as well as the ways in which the scope of those rights has been narrowed by both Congress and by the Supreme Court. The 1996 measures and their consequences will be examined in Part IV with a focus on those laws affecting the criminal defendant.