Efforts in criminal courts to avoid deportation as a result of convictions are prevalent throughout the United States. Although defendants in Washington have a statutory right to be advised of the potential immigration consequences of a guilty plea, there is no statutory or constitutional requirement that a judge take immigration consequences into consideration in imposing sentence. Nonetheless, as was the case in the assault on Micah Painter, judges can and do make what are effectively policy judgments when sentencing defendants, with an eye toward helping them avoid deportation.
David S. Keenan, The Difference a Day Makes: How Courts Circumvent Federal Immigration Law at Sentencing, 31 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 139 (2007).