A Plea Change Brings Up Touchy Immigration Issue for Man

By Sonam Hundal

SANTA BARBARA, CA – Quevas Ramirez just wanted to get his case over and agreed in Santa Barbara County Superior Courthouse via Zoom last week to change his plea for his case—it involved possession of a dagger—from the Oct. 10 incident.

However, it was later than he learned that plea could result in his deportation—which he said could be “very difficult” for him.

Ramirez decided to plead no contest, which the judge clarified would be treated the same as a guilty plea for sentencing purposes in the misdemeanor case.

Ramirez would be on a year-long probation sentence, have to follow all laws, be subjected to any required search and seizures, not possess any controlled substances or weapons, and provide any testing results to law enforcement.

As for Ramirez’s second case, which was unnamed, Assistant District Attorney Aaron Rogers claimed that it was dismissed.

Ramirez, however, was not let off the hook entirely, as the judge claimed that any terms and restitution can still be ordered. The defendant was also informed that he had the right to “bring forth any witnesses and evidence” in his own defense.

Ramirez chose to waive his rights, stating: “I don’t want to go to trial, I just want to accept the deal.”

Toward the end of their discussion of Ramirez’s cases, the issue of Ramirez’s immigration status was brought up. Although never outright noting Ramirez’s specific immigration status, Rogers said a “guilty plea could result in deportation.”

Despite this information, the defendant still chose to keep his no contest plea, although claiming: “I cannot go to Mexico. If I go to Mexico, it would be very difficult for me.”

About The Author

Sonam Hundal is a senior at UCSB majoring in English with a special emphasis on creative writing. She is from Porterville, California and aspires to begin a career in law.

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