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Tenn. court decision could be blow to immigrants

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Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The Tennessee Supreme Court has issued a decision that could be a blow to immigrants who have been convicted of a crime but had the record wiped clean because of good behavior.

On Friday, the state's highest court refused to reopen the case of a Mexican national who pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of patronizing a prostitute.

Jose Rodriguez agreed to plead guilty in exchange for being allowed to have the record wiped clean if he followed all court orders. What he didn't know was that federal law for immigration purposes does not consider the record cleaned, even though Tennessee expunged it.

Rodriguez wanted to take back the guilty plea, but the court said he couldn't because the record was expunged and there is no conviction to challenge.

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