UI student could face deportation if plea not withdrawn

BY DI STAFF | DECEMBER 05, 2012 6:30 AM

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A University of Iowa student may face deportation unless his request to have his guilty plea withdrawn is granted, according to court documents.

Pengfei Sun pleaded guilty to possession of drug paraphernalia in December 2009 and was sentenced to pay a $100 fine.  The Immigration and Customs Enforcement then began removal proceedings in August 2010, because the charge could void his visa. According to the motion, he is scheduled to graduate from the UI in 2014, and his studies would be “severely interrupted” by removal from the US.

Sun further claims his constitutional rights were violated when he asked for a lawyer, but his request was denied by Magistrate L. Jay Stein, who reportedly noted the denial occurred because “court is unaware of anyone seeking jail time.” He also claims other court officials did not brief him about the charges affecting his immigration status.

Sun has also moved for the charge to vacated if his plea is withdrawn.

— by Brent Griffiths

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