ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York's highest court says the state's trial judges must warn non-citizens they may be deported before allowing them to plead guilty to felonies.
The Court of Appeals says defendants are entitled to be notified of such a grave consequence, citing more deportations by immigration authorities under tougher U.S. enforcement policy.
The court, divided 5-2, says the new requirement is grounded in the constitutional right to due process.
The dissenting judges say defense lawyers are already required to tell their clients they could be deported.
The court is sending three cases back to trial courts where the men can argue they would not have pleaded guilty if they knew they'd be deported.
The cases involve two legal permanent residents convicted of drug charges and a man in the country illegally who was convicted of rape.