Disrupting Deportation – How to Effectively Vacate your Noncitizens Criminal Convictions for Immigration Purposes

  • Immigration and Crimes
  • Deportation/Removal


Since the federal government has failed to provide immigration reform, often times the only way to prevail in immigration court is to vacate your client’s prior criminal conviction or sentence to avoid deportation or to render your client eligible for some type of relief from removal. In this webinar, you will learn how to effectively vacate convictions in criminal court to meet the required Pickering standard of “legal invalidity”. We will take a deep dive into what constitutes “prejudicial error” pursuant to recent case law. In addition, we will discuss how to use the new resentencing laws and vacaturs enacted for victims of human trafficking and domestic violence to also help our noncitizens. Lastly, you will learn best practices to defend your vacatur in immigration court.


Carla Gomez, Senior Staff Attorney - Immigrant Legal Resource Center

Carla Gomez is a Senior Staff Attorney in San Francisco where she focuses on the intersection of criminal and immigration law, including post-conviction relief. Along with Rose Cahn and Kathy Brady, she co-authored, California Post-Conviction Relief for Immigrants: How to Use Criminal Courts to Erase the Immigration Consequences of Crimes, ILRC, first edition (2023).  Carla has over 20 years of criminal defense experience as both a federal and county public defender and has extensive experience as an immigration defense attorney.

Prior to coming to the ILRC, Carla started her career as a Federal Public Defender in San Diego as both a trial and appellate attorney. Carla then became a San Francisco Public Defender where she practiced for over 15 years as a felony attorney, and, in 2017, she was part of the team that spearheaded the Immigration Unit. Carla has successfully defended the most challenging cases in immigration court where her clients with serious felonies have won asylum, withholding, the Convention Against Torture and readjustment of status. Her successful post-conviction relief practice throughout California has saved lawful permanent residents with aggravated felonies from deportation and allowed noncitizens to adjust their status.

Katie Tinto, Clinical Professor of Law - UC Irvine Law School

Katie Tinto is a Clinical Professor of Law at UC Irvine Law School. Professor Tinto teaches, practices, and researches in the areas of criminal law, the intersection of criminal law and immigration law, and indigent criminal defense. Her interests and experience also include federal compassionate release, clemency, second look advocacy, and reentry services. Before joining UCI Law in July 2016, Professor Tinto taught at Cardozo School of Law and NYU School of Law. Prior to entering academia, Professor Tinto worked for over seven years as a public defender in Los Angeles County.


Register by clicking here.

  • CLE Credit Comments: 1.5 CA & TX

IAN Partners

  • pro bono net
  • american immigration lawyers association
  • national immigration law center
  • unidos us
  • immigration legal resource center
  • immigration legal resource center
  • american immigration council
  • american civil liberties union
  • american immigration council
  • national immigration project
  • the advocates for human rights
  • lutheran immigration and refugee service

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