Archive for July, 2011

New Yorker asylum article is dispiriting and outrageous.

Sunday, July 31st, 2011

The August 1, 2011, New Yorker published a story, “Annals of Immigration; The Asylum Seeker,” by Suketu Mehta  that encapsulated everything about immigration law that is both dispiriting and outrageous. It is a clarion to new lawyers to keep away from the profession and a motivator to honest lawyers in the field to want to take a long shower after any day associating with his or her peers or “the system.” It may be the saddest thing I ever read…

Two different outcomes on reopening based on vaguely distinguishable facts.

Sunday, July 24th, 2011

The courts of appeal perennially must deal with the issue of ineffective assistance of counsel. The issue is whether a case should be reopened if an attorney made a mistake in the case. The issue highlights a conflict between two conflicts in law in general – an interest in finality versus an interest in fairness. The interest in finality is that a case must end at some point. An alien has his day in court and he has his appeals….

Dear State Department, ‘How weird is that?’

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

I was recently hired to represent someone who is in the middle of the process of applying for a permanent resident visa abroad – a process that is handled by the Department of State. I needed information about the case which is currently being handled by the State Department’s National Visa Center. I sent them my question along with the State Department’s form DS-3032, which is entitled, “Choice of Address and Agent for Immigrant Visa Applicants,” which a visa applicant…

The Ninth Circuit reverses its long-held precedent on the effectiveness of expungements of some drug crimes.

Sunday, July 17th, 2011

If I knew how to put a black box around a posting to signify a sad, dark day for non-citizens, I would do it for this posting as I write about a new decision, Nunez Reyes v. Holder, which overrules Lujan-Armendariz v. INS,  a decision that recognized state expungements of simple possession drug offenses so that the harsh immigration consequences of drug convictions would not apply to those with expungements. First, what are the “harsh consequences” of simple possession offenses?…