Immigration law is all over the news now. Unfortunately, most of the news we hear is negative. Immigration Judges, government lawyers and lawyers representing aliens often have a thankless job that is misunderstood by most of the public. Groups that are pro-immigration seemed to only want blanket amnesty that will create a give away with no opportunity to earn lawful status. They view any regulation that would require eligibility requirements to be reactionary. Then on the other end of the spectrum we have conservative think tanks, such as the Center for Immigration Studies that attack any provision or proposal that would seem to extend a benefit to deserving non-citizens. I was the target of an attack from the Center for Immigration Studies that criticized an article that I penned for Interpreter Releases in January of this year. The title of my article was the subject of the attack, to wit “How to Present a Successful Non-LPR Cancellation of Removal Application when there is no Obvious Hardship.” The Center for Immigration Studies, CIS, awarded me a “gold medal” for writing an article that showed “how an immigration lawyer can argue successfully that his client, who is not here legally, should not be deported, even though such an act will not impose an obvious hardship on anyone.” CIS obscured the actual text of my article and completely misled its followers by disseminating an intentionally malicious article that was intended to malign me and show that I put on a smoke and mirror show for my clients’ benefit. Nothing could be further from the truth. My article was based on well settled and principled law that used Board of Immigration Appeals precedent to demonstrate my point.
As lawyers, we all face this criticism, whether we work for the government, decide the cases or represent the alien. The FBA and especially the ILS gives us the opportunity within a unique forum to work together to improve the system within which we work. Our Board is comprised of Immigration Judges, government lawyers and private attorneys who work together to foster cooperation among the different roles that we serve in the courtroom.
I hope to see as many ILS members as possible in Memphis so we can learn together to improve what we do within our immigration system.