When is an admission not an admission and when is a parole not a parole? When ICE makes up the law.

Sunday, June 26th, 2016

When you encounter a non-citizen of the United States on an American street, the usual understanding is that he could be one of six things: 1. A person who was admitted to the United States after inspection at a port of entry (border or air or seaport) and is maintaining proper status; 2. A person who was admitted and then overstayed his period of admission or violated his status; 3. A person who was paroled into the United States. Parole…

The top ten signs the government really does not want lawyers representing clients in immigration cases.

Sunday, April 17th, 2016

It’s time to admit it, the government does not want lawyers representing aliens in immigration proceedings pretty much before any of the agencies that deal with immigration matters, principally the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice. 1. Customs and Border Protection does not allow attorneys to appear with clients at the border. 8 CFR 292.5(b)  In fact, the Board of Immigration Appeals has held that officers do not even have to tell applicants for admission that they have the right…

Two bureaucracies are “better” than one when it all “ends well.”

Sunday, October 18th, 2015

I recently wrote about how USCIS eschews interaction with attorneys and severely limits the ability of attorneys to interact with it during the adjudication process. Combine USCIS with the Department of State, and the inaccessibility of the bureaucracy is more frustratingly apparent. Here’s my recent example. A Mexican family (Mexican-ness is important to the story. It is not a gratuitous detail.) came to see me about a long-pending visa petition filed twenty years ago by a parent for his son….

A week of reinventing the wheel in a system too complicated to administer.

Sunday, May 17th, 2015

Time and time again immigration lawyers like to tell you how complicated the immigration laws are.  Often the motivation for saying this is to encourage people to hire a lawyer. While hiring a lawyer may help to avoid the procedural pitfalls of trying to obtain benefits from immigration agencies, the biggest problem is that the immigration laws are too complicated for the agencies themselves to administer. Lawyers have a hard time stopping the decision makers from making their stupid mistakes….