March 11, 2013
“A friend in need,” my mother explained, “is a friend indeed.”
I was taught to offer a helping hand to others when they are going through rough times. Unfortunately, such sentiments are not shared by all.
Especially when it comes to immigrants.
As part of the global community, the United States has long promoted itself as defender of the politically downtrodden and desperate.
Yet, over the past few decades, Americans have demonstrated an increasing disregard for those suffering abroad.
January 6, 2013
Despite the excitement over the government’s announcement to finally issue its new rules for I-601 family unity waivers, caution is warranted.
As a green card attorney, I believe immigrant families should continue to operate from a protective posture.
Several immigrant families will benefit from the changes.
Yet, there are other unaddressed aspects of the I-601 waivers which applicants still need to surmount.
These issues were sidestepped in the government’s announcement.
August 12, 2012
The DREAM Act is long overdue.
In just a few days, immigration officials will release application forms for immigrant youth seeking defense against deportation.
When the program was announced, several news media outlets, political commentators, and immigrant advocates claimed the DREAM Act was finally becoming a reality.
July 25, 2012
Having practiced deportation defense for nearly two decades, I’ve witnessed the agony of immigrants facing removal from the United States.
In most instances, they are faced with two unpleasant choices.
- They can relocate their entire family to their home country, including those members born and raised in the U.S.
- Or they can leave their family in the United States, while they return home, perhaps to never see them again.
Until recently, the plight of U.S. citizen children in the latter situation has been relatively unexplored.
February 8, 2012
Newt Gingrich as the new savior of immigration?
Having practiced deportation defense in the 1990s, I am no Johnny-come-lately to immigration issues.
I remember the xenophobic backlash led by Gingrich against the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) signed into law by his fellow conservative, Ronald Reagan.
I remember, in other words, Gingrich as the Grinch who stole immigration reform.
June 17, 2011
He never went home.
He left his native county at the age of 20 to find work. Born in an impoverished area of a poor country, he left home to earn money which he could send back to his mother and eight siblings.
He ventured through, and stayed briefly at, a few countries, eventually reaching the United States.
For the next 25 years, he crisscrossed California, Arizona, and Utah, moving from crop to crop before settling in San Diego where he worked as a dishwasher at one of the city’s most prestigious restaurants.
He worked Monday through Sunday at minimum wage, and was given only two days off per year, Thanksgiving and Christmas. He was not paid overtime and was not part of a union.
June 6, 2011
In 2010, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), our nation’s highest administrative body for interpreting and applying immigration law, issued 33,000 decisions.
There are 15 Board members.
On the average, this means 2,200 decisions per Board member per year.
180 decisions per Board member per month.
Assuming a 40 hour week, 50 weeks per year, each Board member works 2,000 hours per year.
That’s 55 minutes per case.