Immigrants encountering legal difficulties in South Carolina may not be aware that such issues could be based on poor representation. However, the Supreme Court has made it possible for such situations to be evaluated a second time if legal errors have contributed to a negative outcome. Those who are unfamiliar with the English language could be vulnerable to dishonest individuals or to those who are not ideally suited to represent them. However, this Supreme Court decision has allowed for the needs of such foreigners to be observed.
The decision was issued in connection with an undocumented immigrant from Mexico, who was not aware of the legal errors made by his lawyers until the deadline for an appeal had passed. His new lawyers attempted to appeal the initial decision in which the wrong documents were submitted in the case involving deportation proceedings against the man. The Board of Immigration Appeals dismissed the appeal. However, the 8-1 decision at the Supreme Court level highlights the requirement for some level of due process.
Because of this decision, an individual whose case has obtained an unfavorable ruling in the face of unskilled or negligent legal representation could reopen the case because of that ineffective counsel. The Supreme Court decision does not guarantee a different result, but it does equip foreign nationals with the chance to have a case heard with better representation if errors have been discovered.
Because legal matters can be confusing for foreigners dealing with immigration or deportation action, it may be important to work with an experienced lawyer to address charges or pending action. A lawyer may work to ensure that paperwork required in a case is completed correctly. Additionally, legal counsel may assist in coordinating translation services and other necessary services for any formal hearings.