Articles Posted in Immigration Law

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This case appeal presented a post-conviction relief (PCR) matter in which Petitioner Gregg Taylor, a Jamaican citizen, pled guilty to a drug offense. Petitioner resided in South Carolina for years with his wife and two children, all three of whom were United States citizens. In plea negotiations, Petitioner's primary concern was whether he would be subject to deportation. Plea counsel viewed Petitioner's grave concern with the prospect of deportation as a "collateral" issue, yet provided general assurances to Petitioner that he would not be deported. As a result, Petitioner pled guilty. The drug offense resulted in Petitioner's deportation, and this PCR application followed. The PCR court denied relief. The South Carolina Supreme Court granted a writ of certiorari and reversed: "By focusing on Petitioner's decision-making, it is uncontested that he 'would have rejected any plea leading to deportation.' Because Petitioner's counsel provided deficient representation, we may not avoid a finding of prejudice on the basis of the likelihood of a guilty verdict . . . we are constrained to 'conclude [Petitioner] has demonstrated a 'reasonable probability that, but for [his] counsel's errors, he would not have pleaded guilty and would have insisted on going to trial.'" View "Taylor v. South Carolina" on Justia Law

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This case appeal presented a post-conviction relief (PCR) matter in which Petitioner Gregg Taylor, a Jamaican citizen, pled guilty to a drug offense. Petitioner resided in South Carolina for years with his wife and two children, all three of whom were United States citizens. In plea negotiations, Petitioner's primary concern was whether he would be subject to deportation. Plea counsel viewed Petitioner's grave concern with the prospect of deportation as a "collateral" issue, yet provided general assurances to Petitioner that he would not be deported. As a result, Petitioner pled guilty. The drug offense resulted in Petitioner's deportation, and this PCR application followed. The PCR court denied relief. The South Carolina Supreme Court granted a writ of certiorari and reversed: "By focusing on Petitioner's decision-making, it is uncontested that he 'would have rejected any plea leading to deportation.' Because Petitioner's counsel provided deficient representation, we may not avoid a finding of prejudice on the basis of the likelihood of a guilty verdict . . . we are constrained to 'conclude [Petitioner] has demonstrated a 'reasonable probability that, but for [his] counsel's errors, he would not have pleaded guilty and would have insisted on going to trial.'" View "Taylor v. South Carolina" on Justia Law

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Appellant Foreign Academic & Cultural Exchange Services, Inc. (FACES) instituted this action against Respondent Daniela Tripon for breach of contract, breach of the duty of loyalty, and injunctive relief. FACES recruits teachers from outside the United States and places them with schools within the state pursuant to the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Program. Respondent, a Romanian citizen, contracted with FACES to participate in its program, and entered the United States on a J-1 visa. Pursuant to the "foreign residency requirement" of the J-1 visa, respondent was required to return to her home country and remain there for at least two years following departure from the United States. After Respondent had taught for two years, she and FACES entered into a revised agreement for the term of an additional school year. The new contract also increased respondent's salary and contained an acknowledgement that respondent would return home for two years after the contract expired. Shortly after executing the new contract, respondent married a former FACES teacher, and was granted a waiver of the J-1 foreign residency requirement, allowing her to remain in the United States. Subsequently, Respondent accepted a full-time position with another school district and received an H-1B visa allowing her to remain in the United States after the expiration of her J-1 visa. Following respondent's failure to return to Romania as contracted, FACES instituted this action. The circuit court granted summary judgment in favor of Respondent as to all of FACES' claims. Upon review, the Supreme Court reversed the circuit court's order granting summary judgment, finding there were material questions of fact whether respondent breached the revised contract by not returning to her home country and accepting another job, whether FACES suffered any actual as opposed to liquidated damages, and whether respondent breached the duty of loyalty implied in every employment contract. View "Foreign Academic & Cultural Exchange Services, Inc. v. Tripon" on Justia Law