Preferring words over numbers, I chose the practice of law. Preferring people over numbers, I forsook tax law and opted to practice immigration. How naïve of me to think that numbers could be so easily avoided. Everywhere they confront and torment me.USCIS filing fees soar. Fines for violating I-9 regulations, engaging in prohibited immigration discrimination, and employing unauthorized … Continue Reading
The dysfunctional immigration world continues to spin dangerously out of control.
Do-nothing House Republicans (and five pusillanimous Democrats) commit political seppuku with the passage of the ENFORCE Act — a going-nowhere bill which would authorize civil suits against the President to dissuade him from doing something to husband scarce prosecutorial resources and ameliorate the harsh consequences of deportation for noncriminal … Continue Reading
Ellis Island, which opened as an immigration processing post on January 1st 122 years ago, symbolizes for many Americans of immigrant descent the place where would-be entrants to the U.S. learned whether they would be admitted to the country. Perhaps the most famous and wrenching location within this hallowed landmark are the “stairs of separation,” a staircase divided into … Continue Reading
Samuel Herbert, Her Majesty’s Home Secretary from 1931-32 (the British equivalent of the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security), could well have been speaking about two recent immigration-related events when he quipped that “bureaucracy” is “a difficulty for every solution.”
[Blogger’s Note: An earlier version of this post mistakenly suggested that the article discussed below offering the views of an immigration lawyer was written by that lawyer. It was not; rather it was written by a reporter who quoted the lawyer. This blogger regrets the error.]
The power of online and social media to whip up a frenzy of vituperation … Continue Reading
Much has been written since April 17 when the bipartisan Gang of Eight senators introduced S. 744, a brobdingnagian immigration reform bill that overlays 844 pages of turgid text on top of the already gargantuan and complex Immigration and Nationality Act. The Migration Policy Institute, the National Immigration Law Center, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) have … Continue Reading
“U.S. immigration law is like stratified rock, revealing layer on layer of Congressional accretions laid down over many years, with the superstructure upended in tectonic shifts triggered by the baffling and contradictory interpretations of multiple agencies and courts.”
As Republicans join Democrats in contemplating reform of the nation’s dysfunctional immigration system, the final line of the Pledge of Allegiance (“with liberty and justice for all”) is the best place to start.
Revitalizing our broken and outdated 20th Century immigration laws to respond to the needs of 21st Century America will turn in large part on how we face … Continue Reading
The Democratic Convention in Charlotte ended last week. The media has now turned to measuring and marveling at President Obama’s post-convention bounce despite weak Labor Department data revealing persistent joblessness.
The inevitable comparisons of the two parties’ convention performances give the edge to the Democrats’ oratory, production values, crowd enthusiasm and diversity. On immigration policy, the Dems offered more substantive messaging, while … Continue Reading
In … Continue Reading
[Blogger’s note: Tomorrow, August 15, 2012, is perhaps as momentous to DREAMers as D-Day, June 6, 1944, was to The Greatest Generation. The invasion of Normandy marked the end of World War II in Europe and the fall of a tyrannical Nazi regime that made mincemeat of the rule of law.
Though the comparison may seem hyperbolic to some, I remember … Continue Reading
“[A] riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma” ~ Winston Churchill
The most quotable of British Prime Ministers could well have been talking about the American immigration system rather than describing Russia in 1939. U.S. immigration law is like stratified rock, revealing layer on layer of Congressional accretions laid down over many years, with the superstructure upended in … Continue Reading
[Blogger’s Note: This week’s guest column is by Jennifer Oltarsh, an immigration lawyer practicing in Manhattan. She writes about how the tendency of Congress and the Obama Administration to require the incarceration of low-level immigration law violators without providing individualized determinations of whether a detainee will be released from custody has led to massive increases in the population of incarcerated immigrants.]
Immigration … Continue Reading
[Blogger’s note: Whether by dint of nature or nurture, lawyers love to argue; immigration lawyers perhaps more so. Unlike our colleagues (outside of immigration practice) for whom sources of law are better defined, immigration attorneys can access a wider array of law and non-law sources with which to fashion our pro and con arguments.
As a change of pace … Continue Reading
From the first prehistoric evenings sitting around campfires, humans have been telling stories. Heroic myths, fairy-tale fables, oral histories — all have been seared into heart and memory through the power of narrative. Civil and criminal trials are merely stylized forms of storytelling. Journalism’s hook, theatre’s Sturm und Drang, reality television’s sour and sweet confections — all are bottomed on stories.
Although … Continue Reading
A trip abroad, as I took recently for a speaking gig, often allows intellectual curiosity to gallivant more freely. It also provides opportunities to question accepted truths or cause germinating notions to blossom into convincing arguments, especially if serendipity or divine providence creates chance meetings with strangers. These thoughts crystallized after my return as I read Peggy Noonan’s op-ed … Continue Reading
In my last post, I quoted Roxana Bacon, the former Chief Counsel of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), our nation’s premier agency charged with determining eligibility for immigration benefits, who chided her erstwhile employer for “timidity” in failing to take legitimate administrative steps to reform America’s broken immigration system. While her point is correct, I am furious at USCIS, … Continue Reading