Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The unknown immigration war

The main thing that irritates me now about immigration law is the SHAME that my clients are starting to feel for being illegal. The cannot get IDs, they cannot work, if they talk to a policeman they might get arrested. It is no wonder I meet so many abused women in my practice, as they are all terrified that their US citizen husbands or boyfriends have the power to make them return home whenever they say.

Things have changed so much. When I moved to Florida, I have to admit, it bothered me to wait in line behind illegal immigrants to get my first Florida driver's license. We may have been too permissive then.

But now it seems we have gone overboard in the other direction. My practice, which used to consist of business immigration, family immigration and some deportation has become 50% deportation because so many people are being arrested, threatened and tormented for the "crime" of being born in the wrong country.

You would not believe how many nice aliens I know who are being (for lack of a better word) screwed with by the government because of indifference or sloth on the part of government employees. or because the letter of the law, interpreted harshly, suggests that maybe, maybe, they might be deported.

You would not believe the enormous jail we have in Florida (and there are more in other states) where we keep only NONCRIMINAL aliens who are facing deportation. Why do we lock up so many noncriminals who are a threat to no one? I do not know. Why do noncriminals face the toughest Immigration Judge in Florida? I do not know.

All of this is unfair, ridiculous, and unAmerican. It must change.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Who knew?

I actually met somebody today in my office who claimed that they came to see me because they read my blog and looked at my website. I actually had no idea that people read my blog or look at my website. I had always hoped, but had never dared dream that people would actually pay attention to what I was saying.

But now that I know that my bully pulpit reaches at least one person, I shall endeavor to post more material more often.

I'll talk today about one of my frustrations with immigration law. It is incredibly unfortunate that the decisions aliens receive regarding their applications for permanent residence or whether or not they will be deported depend greatly upon the officer or judge hearing their case, and the way they present their case. There are immigration judges who will almost never approve applications for cancellation of removal, and their immigration judges who are quite happy to grant those applications. Similarly, at USCIS, who your officer is for your interview can make a great difference in how your interview goes, and whether any innocent mistakes will be viewed as innocent mistakes, or as evidence of fraud.

One of the great benefits I give to my clients is that I know who the decision-makers are where we will go. I know the way different decision-makers think, and what evidence resonates most clearly with what immigration judge or immigration officer. That experience is invaluable to my clients.

I also believe the my clients benefit by sitting next to me when they make their applications. I think I have a good reputation as someone who tells the truth and tries not to take money unless the person who's giving it to me knows why he is giving it to me. When I present cases at CIS or the immigration court, the judges and the officers know that my clients will not be lying to them, because my clients don't lie. If they would like to lie, they need to find another attorney. I will help anybody to make the best of the truth. I will help nobody create "truth" to fit any given situation.