Category Archives: Uncategorized

American Jeopardy: The Pious Who Remain Unrighteous – Who was Joseph or Moses for $10

I was never entirely pleased with most Democrats or Republicans. There is always a certain amount of negotiating and pandering in politics.  Incumbents enjoy power. Those of us who choose to avoid the challenge for personal reasons must tolerate all that is inept in politics.  Unfortunately, the most inept, inhumane, and unenforceble set of civil laws are those that involve lawful immigration.  It seems that Newt Gingrich is the only Republican willing to admit it and seek a solution.

America has forgotten its roots; it restricts lawful immigration to an outrageous extent. Much of it is geared by PACs started by zero population growth advocates, who can no longer advocate pro choice.  Our unenforceble rules are geared to permanently disqualify productive, yet  unlawful residents.  These folks will take the abuse and still live in the U.S. We now permanently bar too many foreign spouses of U.S. Citizens from lawful immigration for mere civil immigration violations.

As result, what do Americans do? Well, many U.S. Citizens rebel privately. They believe that the U.S. Government refuses or is unable to adequately fund enforcement. If the Government did, there are many more native born and naturalized U.S. Citizens who can be detained without a speedy trial and deported by mistake. Yes, a drivers license is not enough! What about that shabby looking birth certificate! And no, an expired U.S. Passport is not acceptable proof of Citizenship!

Our current set of immigration laws lacks a moral compass. The Republicans have feigned, or near complete selective, ignorance of America’s current Immigration laws. Mitt Romney catcalls “amnesty” for all programs geared to help DHS clear some of the enforcement docket.  As a result, he does an disservice to the G.O.P. 

I believe that Romney feeds on a vindictive set of Americans who are unaware that many long term foreign born U.S. Residents are permanently disqualified from a green card, even if they left the U.S. for consular processing.

Many of those who may qualify for a future legalization program, not an amnesty program, have lived in the U.S. for decades. Many were dragged over the border by their parents. Many were shoved in blankets and driven over the border. These children, now in their 30s or 40s had no choice. Now, the read, speak and understand English better than many Native born Americans.  Many also pay taxes.

These kids are Ours. One of Ronald Reagan’s legacies was Legalization. Yes, the program ended! For the Republican Party leaders to claim that the G.O.P. is pious, yet remain unwilling to forgive the stranger in Our Land is anti-Christian and simply sacrilegious.

Those who read the Bible or Tanakh know that we are to welcome the stranger as if we were strangers in the land of Israel. The Exodus from Egypt was caused by ramped up aggression and jealousy. This lead to eventual edicts, followed by impressment and slavery against those who were made unwelcome. What took place in Nazi Germany that led to the Holocaust was an effort to de-personalize those of the Jewish faith.

What has happened in the U.S. is that we have forgotten that people are unlawfully present, not ‘illegal.’ Contraband and drugs are illegal, not people.  At what point can we admit that there must be a statute of limitations on the civil offense of entering without inspection? Perhaps, we need a limitation on prosecution for the crime of unlawful re-entry, as well!

The current civil and criminal immigration legal systems have yet to create such statute of limitations! Why?  Well, Republicans are unable to forgive. Perhaps, the Tea Party is unable to accept that law and order requires a balancing of the scales.  Our immigrations laws remain imbalanced and geared against those for whom America remains dependent.  As a result, the system has epically failed as a just and righteous orderly program, but for the administrators that are required to enforce it.

To date, there is only one Republican who recognizes the Reagan Legacy.  That is Newt Gingrich.  The rest seem to be affiliated with another political mentality.  I hope that those of us who really read the scriptures learn to have an impact on Rome, rather than simply tolerate when Christians get thrown to the lions, tigers and bears.

A number of our DHS detention facilities, mostly run by private companies, have become arguable cesspools of human rights abuses.  The Republicans cannot pretend to ignore when women are raped by guards, who were ineptly vetted for past rape convictions  as some sort of payback. Yet, we allow human beings to be deprived of health services to the point that organ transplants are eventually rejected.

Let’s face it, the U.S. cannot afford to pay for this disaster fueled by the vindication that created red tape restrictions limiting lawful immigration. Mitt Romney advocates the type of vindictive commentary that fuels the human rights violations that Americans like to condemn in other nations!

The bazaar part,  for me, is that he claims to be a good Mormon.

As Georgia Peaches Rot and Peanuts Perish . . .Urban America Rises.

I’ve seen a few comments pop up. My hope is to educate, not pontificate.  Even Newt Gingrich has (had?) a rather moderate view on immigration challenges in the U.S.  Those who drive the anti-immigration agenda don’t have the Republican Party’s best interests in mind.  Former U. S. Representative Lincoln Diaz-Ballart of Florida, and his brother Mario, also Republicans, tend to agree with the moderate position.

http://mariodiazbalart.house.gov/index.cfm?sectionid=85&sectiontree=4,24,85

Who wants to oppose legal and legalizing immigration, when it is needed to achieve law enforcement goals? I think that most appreciate law and order, but ignore the cost in taxes.  There are also a few who are jealous of those working harder, even without work authorization, but still make quicker money in our capitalist system. Finally, there are the stalwarts against immigration simply based upon desires of zero population growth.  In the end, law enforcement demands a compromise. Otherwise, the ongoing hypocrisy will plague the U.S.

It seems like this Alabama, Arizona, and Georgia mandate makes local police responsible for chasing after foreigners, which is a job reserved and paid for by the Feds. The last politician who had the guts to do anything significant about it was President Reagan.  And it was no amnesty, either!  It was legalization needed to balance out the hypocrisy and injustices created by poor enforcement.

Legalization disqualified many applicants.  Legacy I.N.S. just needed to better track fraud in the system with timely indictments against the non-attorney notaries, among others, who filed fraudulent and frivolous applications for unsuspecting foreigners.

In the current situation, with new anti-immigration laws of 1996 and deficit funding, more government jobs are created by anti-immigrant forces. It takes money and staff hours to train law enforcement on these laws, as well.  Conservatives should realize that stricter laws create the need for more law enforcement or a legislative hypocrisy (laws that are poorly enforced as a matter of discretion; underfunded mandates).

Of course, more government employment drives up the budget and this encourages higher taxes. Budget shortfalls are an undebatable reality that anti-immigration forces ignore, when they push to enact laws.

The threat of arrest also chases away the unskilled, lawful or unlawful, who are willing to work for what the U.S. market will pay for some jobs.  Georgia peaches will get rotten and peanuts will perish.  People will buy their fruit from Argentina or Mexico, when labor prices make American fruit unaffordable; we do that now!

That’s why I cannot understand why conservatives who want to see the deficit drop and lower taxes embrace such unattainable goals.  These goals without a viable unskilled work visa program simply chase agri-jobs abroad.  These folks will move to Argentina, Central America, and Chile if there are no more agri-jobs in the U.S. available to them.

It will also result in the closure of more American Farms, since the non-immigrant visa process is already too complicated and restrictive for most farmers to afford. In fact many, find the laws to be so unrealistic that they won’t lie to the Government on paper, they just hire the folks off the payroll and hope for the best.  In the end, we create more criminals and agricultural monopolies like Archer Daniels Midland.  These jobs don’t easily return to rural America.  If our environment changes too much, America creates other environmental complications.

Again, the challenge is that there is not enough taxes to pay for enforcement, which drives up the deficit. If we expect to have safe food, we must pay for enough inspectors.  If we expect more immigration enforcement, then many more ICE Agents are needed. Perhaps, we need more than Congress is willing to afford and support.

In the end, the last President that actually understood the need to cut the red tape and legalize foreigners caught in the web of unscrupulous employers and lax immigration enforcement was President Reagan. He was the one who actually worked with Congress, Tip O’Neill, Dick Simpson and Mazzoli to create the I-9 audit, IRCA and Legalization programs.

To date, what we’ve learned is that our economy cannot run without people willing to move to big cities where the jobs are. The jobs are where the populations and wages are, not in rural Alabama and suburban Iowa.  The rural areas are always afraid of foreign newcomers.  These foreign newcomers too often speak another language and this creates a bit of unjustified paranoia.

The economy in Chicago seems to be doing well enough to fill the mall parking lots beyond capacity.  Someone is making money otherwise the lines at the check would not be so outrageously long as they were this weekend in Westfield’s Old Orchard Mall, among other places.  Even Whole Foods parking lot in Evanston was packed at 9 p.m.

If we chase jobs outside of the U.S., then products produced elsewhere can no longer be easily regulated.  (e.g. natural and synthetic rubber, etc.) Our Government also uses are taxes or bonds to pay for our armed forces and veterans, as well. This contributes to the outrageous deficit. However, those are jobs that our Congress is willing to pay for without much fuss.

In the end, blaming the President, any President, for the action or inaction of Congress seems rather pointless and counterproductive.  Obama is as ineffective as George W. on cutting the red tape that creates the hypocrisy of underfunded and unrealistic immigration mandates.  Strangely, there have been more deportations under the Obama Administration than any in recent history including George W. Bush.

Yet, the major cities lack the will and funding to adequately enforce the anti-immigration laws, just like Prohibition.  Perhaps, the benefits of immigration, lawful or unlawful, overcome the disadvantages in larger cities.

However, as attorneys, we believe that the current laws should be  enforced or repealed. Americans cannot appreciate how oppressive the current laws are without the muscle that will eventually create arguable opposition.

If not reasonably enforced, then many of us think that unenforced laws serve no purpose other than to turn democracy into hypocrisy.  Passing new laws have not helped; it has only created a class of residents who are unable to ever become lawful permanent residents. These folks are repeatedly victimized, but continue to work because they think that they live a better life in the U.S. spite of the situation.  The ongoing helplessness of their plight brings down other Americans, who must complain to overwhelmed Federal Officials, who will continue to lack the staff to enforce the laws.

In a nutshell, the 1996 laws on unlawful presence create an, as yet, unenforced system of laws that perpetuates unlawful immigration.  The additional funds spent on enforcement have done little to appease less populated areas of the U.S. who unreasonably fear being innundated with Spanish speaking residents eager to work in jobs that American Citizens avoid.  Few will pay for a $300 New York Strip Steak served by a Citizen who expects to be paid overly inflated wages.

They  will eventually vacation in Mexico, rather than New York, and buy better tasting grass fed steak in Guanajuato at more affordable prices.

Pick Your Poison, Deficit Cutters: Why Congress’ and Alabama’s Anti-Immigrant Laws Fail!

Some may applaud what Alabama has done. Such efforts have yet to discourage undocumented or visa overstays, who want to lawfully immigrate.  The laws contradict U. S. Supreme Court decisions, but this did not stop Alabama or the U. S. Congress. Now, Alabama chose to create laws that mimic Federal Laws passed in 1996. Many of those laws will not be enforced, as well. Why? Well, Americans hate an uncontrolled immigration system, but have yet to impose a system will work.

There are many reasons for failure. Many who come to the U.S. are more interested in making a living, not a green card. They are less interested in educating their children, as well. Education is a fringe benefit. If a child is denied an education, then that child will still stay with mom or dad in the U.S. However, that child will only know the U.S., likely stay, and remain illiterate. Those who are thereby ignorant cannot appreciate the law. In addition, these kids add to the pool of the desperately poor along with the truants that law enforcement must chase after. This costs Our Nation more money.

Such anti-immigration programs, if ever enforced, fuel the public deficits that such ambition creates. It should be obvious that most Americans refuse to pay higher taxes to fund anything. It should be equally important to avoid diverting funds from other more important programs simply to chase a few foreign born children out of Suburban Alabama public Grammar Schools.

All these programs do is to defeat our sense of equality. We too often place those who persist upon living among us much lower on the totem pole of respect. Congress has yet to figure out how to enforce our current Federal immigration laws. It will never reasonably fund I.C.E., nor will the States fund police.  All we do is create red tape that deters and disenfranchises, but simultaneously drives up the cost to administrate over Our Nation.

Ultimately, Alabama and the Nation have other priorities. The cost to enforce current immigration laws raises the Federal Deficit to new heights. The U. S. always has the will to errect red tape, but lacks the taxes or will to do enough.  The result is that America now possesses an inequitable and morally bankrupt immigration system.

In criminal law, police are often barred after a number of years from arresting people who offend. Yet, there is no statute of limitations for civil immigration violations. Intending immigrants have lived in the U. S. for three decades, perhaps five. Yet, many continue to await arrest or unenforced deportation orders.  Fear of deportation, or its consequences, disappears after years standing still.

Some have had no experience with immigration enforcement in spite of decades of both lawful and unlawful presence. Phone calls to ICE prove futile; there are just too many and too few officers. Too many return and remain with utter contempt for deportation orders.  The results are disgusting. Many who practice immigration and visa law have seen their incomes drop to outrageously low levels of net income. This challenges our desire to persist, but for the desire to do justice for those few who can qualify.

Too many who qualify mess up in the confusing immigration maze!  A few abuse the desperate undocumented with false promises that the current laws always help those who enter without inspection.  The news announces a false amnesty, which usually spurns thousands of deportation orders.

Much that most lawyers can do is encourage the undocumented to persistently rally, support pro-immigration candidates, wait for justice, or simply depart.  Most of the undocumented are burned out. They do nothing other than continue to work. Yes, minimum wage jobs are in the U. S., but too many U. S. Citizens refuse to apply for them! This is unfortunate since many of those jobs eventually lead to management positions that need bilingual managers.

Ronald Reagan recognized the mess. He was not the only standing president to create a program that helped immigration law enforcement. It was a legalization, not an amnesty!  Now, after more than two decades, we have amassed a vast population of undocumented and unlawful immigrants. Congress is afraid to admit it.  I got old news for some; these folks are not leaving.  They experience more abuse in their home countries.  Is that what America wants to do to its people?

No standing Republican, nor Democratic President, nor Congress, since 1986 was successful at getting a vast majority of the undocumented to leave.  Even the Legalization program, and Registry, which were far from pure amnesties encouraged most disqualified to leave.  The situation persists. One law after another continues to be heaped upon the Immigration and Nationality Act. Frankly, the laws hurt our economy. Well meaning legal professionals, who practice immigration laws cannot help the vast majority who come to our offices.  Those who claim to do so too often cause more disappointment.

Many of us know that U. S. Immigration laws are extremely restrictive.  Those of us who live in major metropolitan cities witness the consequences. We see fewer willing to act as witnesses to crime. Also, minimal efforts to enforce the I-9 forms. Even e-Verify will likely receive the same fate.  Too many employers just don’t care, because that is how things are run and want to live in the suburbs. These businesses take risks, because these white collar crimes are too rarely prosecuted.

Many U. S. Citizens in major U.S. Cities are more often shocked that their fiance or spouse cannot lawfully immigrate. This is too often true even if their loved ones leave the U. S. for consular processing. The ten year ban too often ends those thoughts.  So called pardons, even those with merit are being turned down at record pace! Waiver appeals at the AAO can take three years for a decision.

Does it serve Alabama’s sense of equality and justice to create secondary class residents, who will remain in the U.S.? Does Alabama, too, deceive itself by doing the same thing that Congressman LaMar Smith, among others, did in Congress during 1996? Should we pretend that civil immigration violators will remain outside the U.S. even after deported? Don’t we create more criminals by enacting more restrictive deportation and immigration laws? Can we really build a wall high enough? Can we create a system that can thwart human ingenuity and its need for human rights? I’m afraid that it just isn’t part of God’s plan!

It is always wise to improve border relations. It may make sense to re-evaluate the laws that create economic disparity and poverty. Our ability to encourage Mexican Citizens to economically thrive in Mexico is only offset by Our own envy and greed. Do we hurt ourselves, when we discourage emigration by encouraging an economically and morally bankrupt Mexico? Perhaps, Mexico, too, needs to reform its Own immigration laws!

The U.S. creates laws that we should know some Americans, Canadians and Mexicans will abuse. We keep ignoring it! If the demand for substances like cocaine, heroin and marijuana rise, then the desire to deliver a highly profitable product rises due to free market factors. If we can devaluate the value of these drugs, then America better deters drug abuse and best controls the situation. The same goes for more challenges in smuggling; the cost goes up, but the problem persists.  The U. S. cannot focus law enforcement on more serious and offensive white collar crimes without a fiscal reckoning on Our immigration and substance laws.

Alabama, like the U. S., seems more inclined to drive up its deficits, or pretend that the challenge is solved. Simply enacting a few anti-immigrant laws does little to control unlawful immigration. Unfortunately, those who practice immigration and visa laws know. Those proclamations do little to rise to the challenge. Such laws are paper tigers meant to look fierce, yet create disparity, disenfranchisement, and disrespect for a population that is in need of our attention and concern.

Alabama, like the U. S., cannot promote life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness if it is ripping out the roots out of Our Nation.  Congress passed a few laws too quickly and without careful contemplation.  Now, Alabama, Arizona and others do the same.

You know, Ronald Reagan, had it right, but had it wrong, as well. He supervised a compromise in the Simpson-Mazzola Act. He temporarily cut the red tape, but in exchange resurrected a system of immigration red tape that now create more frustration, ridicule and harm than good.

If Alabama and the U.S. Congress refuse to appreciate the rising deficit, yet won’t cut the anti-immigration red tape, then Obama’s overtures towards supporting the Reagan Revolution appear futile.  Yet, just when we thought that conservatives were sincere, they create even more red tape that costs tax payers even more, when their State’s deficits don’t deserve the pressure.  Pick your poison, Alabama, your sweet home has gone sour.

The DREAM Bill is Deferred, Again!

Yesterday, Congress voted to delay action on the Defense Bill.  In doing so, again, it left the long overdue DREAM Bill in limbo.  This Bill attempts to help some of the thousands of infants and children who were lawfully or unlawful brought into the U.S.   These children had no control in the decision to remain.

Now, many have grown up, attended grammar school, high school, and eventually graduated only to be locked out of the University Education system by the F-1 student visa process.  With unskilled jobs, these now grown and American educated residents have been swallowed up into our expanding black market economy. Only to be spit out whenever politicians put pressure on the Department of Homeland Security to raid a large target.

Former General Colin Powell, among many moderate and reasonable Republicans support the DREAM Bill. This law is not amnesty, since a number of applicants must be denied, where they are disqualified from immigration for other reasons.

The idea that all bills attempting to legalize those who are physically present in the U.S.  are an amnesty is a myth.  To call these people “illegal” is an injustice to desensitize their plight!

These kids, all grown up, are unlawfully present waiting for an answer.  Some claim that this is a somehow a partial amnesty.  Arguably, but in response, those familiar with the U.S. Immigration System appreciate the oppression that results in deporting residents who live in the U.S. for five, perhaps ten, even twenty or more years.

In deporting, and ignorning, we penalize  these residents for the acts of their parents and unforgiving immigration laws.  We also ignore the failure of Congress to reasonable fund immigration enforcement. Our sporadically enforced system of civil immigration laws challenge an already overburdened Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency that has much more serious priorities like human trafficking, terrorism and drug smuggling.

There is a misconception that a visa overstay or someone who entered without inspection  is a criminal.  As a matter of law, this is a myth.  The myth is perpetuated in the news as talking heads, who are not attorneys, make good faith, yet false claims to be immigration law experts.

Appropriate and humane, not indefinitely mean spirited, laws should be in place to regulate those who are not, and cannot, be timely removed from the U.S. Otherwise, we emotionally damage U.S. Citizens whose children, employees, parents, and spouses must be permanently deported based upon our current unforgiving system.

There is something extremely vindictive about deporting someone who has lived in the U.S. for over twenty years.  What part of ‘unconscionable’ do Americans fail to understand?

For more information, albeit somewhat unclear, the Washington Post has written this article.

The “A” Word: Who Gets to Be a Lawful Permanent Resident?

An “immigration amnesty” has never existed in U.S. Immigration History.  An immigration amnesty is imagined by the public.  Amnesty is a concept contrived by anti-immigration lobbyists.  Perhaps, also by those totally oblivious to the political reality of  the United States or Mexico.  Its use deters democracy and spurs injustice.  Yes, Mexico also has a serious mental block when comes to enacting realistic immigration laws, as well!  This hypocrisy is legendary.

For those who know, a person ‘may’ be placed in deportation proceedings upon denial for an immigration benefit.  This means that the DHS is sometimes lenient on those who make mistakes; civil immigration laws are complicated!  When the U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, based upon Congressional mandate, is not lenient, the consequences are devastating to both U.S. Citizens and foreign born residents!

An amnesty purest will not press their luck.  Yet, a few attorneys know the secret.  They know that there has always been a need for a form of perpetual legalization.  However, calling “legalization” an amnesty more often distracts supporters.

The U.S. Body Politique, in general, considers “amnesty” to be a dirty word in immigration.  Let’s get used to it!  A perpetual and reasonable “Legalization,” not amnesty, is what purges those from the system who are questionable casualties in the road to immigration enforcement and reform.

So what should advocates for immigration enforcement and reform do?  Well, if we understand the definition of how the so-called amnesty of it all functions, it helps.  Those with experience accept that there are not enough dollars to hire enough immigration officers and judges.  Those who come in throngs to apply may lose money, but not their right to try try, again, even if they continue to fail miserably at getting a green card.  A nicer and more proper phrase for “green card status” is “lawful permanent residence [also "LPR" for short].  Some are indefinitely or permanently barred from immigration for petty reasons that may persist in the system regardless of reform.

Too many for too long are reasonably frightened of the Department of Homeland Security, which was once known as the Immigration and Naturalization Service.  This Agency makes quite a few oversights, but this would be expected when Congress under funds training and passes unrealistic laws.  The limited form of amnesty is why those who could not prove that they entered the U.S. before January 1, 1981 to the satisfaction of a skeptical immigration officer could avoid being wronged statistics.

These alleged unsuccessful throngs were not immediately referred to immigration court for deportation when their Legalization application was improperly or properly denied!  Yes, to this day there may be some who have lived unlawfully, under the radar for three decades without relief!  Others eventually become victims of immigration witch doctors who promised that an amnesty exists until D.H.S. executes a final deportation order.  What do we do with these people, who often become burnt out and oblivious to U.S.Immigration Law? Pretend that they do not exist?  Pretend that big brother is gonna get them?  Well, they’re not leaving.  By ignoring them, do we encourage un-policed human rights abuses within our own borders?

If we ever understand and admit the historical truths caused by shortsighted immigration laws, then we will stop abusing the term “amnesty.” We must start accepting some form of legalization for those who entered without inspection or overstayed their visas.  Too many of our acquaintances, friends and neighbors were taken advantage of (at times) by unscrupulous attorneys, immigration witch doctors, employers or foreign born parents.  Too many lost wages and their future, because our Federal Government lacks the tax base and political will to enforce and arguably prosecute the general population into immigration compliance.  Let’s face it; it just isn’t going to happen, whether we like it or not!

When we can face the simplest fact that civil immigration laws merit some limitations and a purge valve, then we will appreciate the countless U.S. human rights abuses that result from confusion, ignorance, and insensitivity.  We can ill afford the mean spirited ignorance that labels every effort to normalize the lives our our foreign born residents, “an amnesty!”

A legalization, not an amnesty, that closes the door on perpetual human rights abuses within and around our own borders preserves democracy as we know it.  Taxation without representation is a challenge!  However, let’s face it, there may be no amnesty, but there must be understanding and reckoning.  Otherwise our system of laws and the democracy for which we stand or fall will deteriorate from a warped sense of our immigration realities!

Observing the Macabre at EOIR: Some Suggestions for Improvement.

The challenge with immigration law is that it is administrative law.  It is subject to abuse by both I.C.E. attorneys and the private bar.  I hear from too many in the private bar upset with incivility, but few, if any, file a complaint or can create an effective liaison. 

 The Immigration Judges, Assistant Chief Counsels and court clerks are rarely sanctioned.  However, the same may be said of a few in the private bar, who seem arguably shrouded in teflon, as well. 

The abuses continue with minimal oversight or sanctions to the best of my knowledge.  The OIG’s office, nor Chief Counsel seems effective at pursuing and correcting abuses. 

Too often (once is too much) the private bar, and even I.C.E. attorneys, look to those who are abused and act as follows:

1. Show disrespect with arguable ongoing abusive conduct or indifference, even if arguably unintentional.

2. Encourage those that may be disrespected to pursue disciplinary action, which appears counterproductive and ineffective to some. 

Too many colleagues have more concern over the vindictiveness that may follow a reasonable, perhaps even successful, complaint.  Groups like AILA should create a more effective liaison to encourage civility.  Ultimately, the cycle of disrespect has to stop with the abusers.

The private bar must find ways to reasonably deal with the few ACC’s who demonstrate incivility. There is no excuse.  Otherwise, a vicious cycle persists. I.C.E. attorneys, among  others, must act and look inward, at times. 

The challenge is that there is questionably effective liaison.  AILA claims to act in good faith, but it seems unable to pursue Headquarters at Falls Church or I.C.E. on issues of civility.  The abuse of  colleagues and incivility towards any attorney, private or public, brings the system of justice into disrepute. 

I encourage those at the Chicago District Counsel’s Office, among  others within the justice system, to consider the following suggestions:

1. If you have something innappropriate to say about an attorney, even your own co-workers, use the proper forum.  Let the Judges make the decisions.

2. Don’t condemn, criticize or complain about other attorneys and staff in front of the judge’s clerks, you may eventually bring the same disrespect upon yourselves.

3. Speaking with disrespect, in private, often reveals itself in public.  If you have concerns, then speak with the objective in private, not to others outside their presence. You might learn something.

4. Do not jump to conclusions.

5. Prepare for the hearing.  If you do not have much time  to prepare, then contact the private or I.C.E. attorney of record before the hearing.  Maybe, you will understand and more efficiently resolve the case to prevent injustice. 

6. If a private attorney leaves voicemail for an ACC, then the ACC should carefully listen and respond.  This is how to show respect, even if the reply is brief and to the point.  Private counsel should do the same.

7. Carefully review the ‘A file’ and check for correspondence from private counsel before the hearing.  Ask for clarification ‘before’ the hearing.

The Immigration Courts should do the best to offer a just, neutral and respectful forum for all attorneys.  EOIR should create a better sense of justice for foreigners impacted by ultimate consequences of many notices to appear. 

EOIR Administrative Staff who feel the need to treat others with disrespect should reconsider their professions.  Perhaps, it is time to transfer, resign or retire.

Pitting the clerks as well as the private and or public bar against each other is a macabre means to encourage injustice.  We have overcrowded and understaffed courts.  We should seek appropriate staffing levels. Incivility is pointless; it further chisels away at the foundation of objectivity and the procedural due process of law.

USCIS Fee Increase; Actual Deadline Thursday, July 26, 2007

increase.jpgUSCIS has warned that Government filing fees will increase by 50 percent in a few situations on Monday.   This can amount to hundreds of additional dollars in filing costs.

The actual ‘overnight courier’ deadline is Thursday, July 26, 2007.  The application with proper forms, documents and fees must be “mailed in” by overnight courier by Thursday to avoid rejection due to the fee change.  The applications must be “received” on Friday before the close of business at USCIS.

 All applicants whose applications are “received” on Monday will be rejected and returned according to the USCIS.  Of course, those applications that lack the necessary documents for an acceptable filing can be rejected, as well.

 Those who want to insure that their filing is received should use considerable care or call an experienced immigration and visa attorney as soon as possible.  Attorneys may not be able to file by the deadline depending upon the type of filing.  Our office will consider less complex filings as late as the morning of Thursday, July 26, 2007 on a first come, first serve basis. Appointments should be made by Wednesday or earlier.