Tag Archives: immigration

My case is just like my friend’s……………No, no it isn’t. 5 immigration myths busted!

We see clients all day long, some have complicated problems, some are less difficult. Yet, what we see are that there are lots of myths about immigration processes. These common myths must be busted. While there are more than we can count, we thought we would start with 5.

  1. “Just explain it to me and I will explain it to them (whoever that is: friend, spouse, child)”In the game of telephone, you played as a child, by the time the message got to the last person, it was almost always distorted. The same is true with the law. It is not possible for you to ask questions about a case for someone else. This is because every person hears things a little differently and what makes sense to one person may not make sense to another. Immigration law is complicated.  It is also very much individualized. Every person must understand their role, the expectations and the issues in their case. Just like you could not go to the doctor for someone else’s ailments, you can’t get a legal solution for someone else either.
  2. “I took care of everything in my criminal case, so it doesn’t matter.”  We say this all the time, if you are not a citizen of the United States, it all matters. Although criminal cases are separate from immigration ones, the two are closely intertwined. What is done in one case will impact what occurs in the other. Always keep all criminal documents and papers; keep all immigration documents and papers as well. It does not matter if it was years ago, a month ago or just yesterday, it is very important for your immigration attorney to be fully aware of what occurred in your criminal case. If you paid a fine, were arrested, went to jail, paid a bond or simply got a ticket, always tell your immigration attorney of these things. They will want to know. 
  3. “My neighbor said they can help me fill out the forms, will you look at them for me?”  Remember when the teacher would not accept homework your best friend did for you? Most immigration attorneys will not simply review your forms.  They want to be able to review your case fully and not just review the documents. This is because attorneys don’t want to be responsible for someone else’s work especially when they have no control over it.  For example, if you leave their office and change something, there is no way for the attorney to make sure the change was correct. It’s just too risky and the only way to protect you and the attorney is simply for them not to review other people’s work. Think of it like this, would you ever let your friend, who is not even a doctor, operate on you? No? It is the same thing. 
  4. “According to the internet…” The internet can be a good thing.  It can help give you get quick general information. But, not everything you read on the internet is true. Think of all the allegations of “fake news” that have come up in the last few years. In the same way, unless the information is from a trusted source, it should not simply be accepted as true. 
  5. “My case is just like my friend’s”. This one is that comes up all the time. We can assure you that your case and your friend’s case is probably nothing alike. This is because while cases may look similar, a detailed look will reveal their differences. The problem, of course, is that the friend is not the one in the office. This means there is no way to get the required information necessary to help explain the differences in each case. Just like not each snowflake is unique, even though it is difficult to tell without a magnifying glass, each case is also one of a kind. 

If you are not making your Immigration case a priority, you aren’t paying attention


You count on us to tell you the truth and to level with you. You have come to rely on our straight talk and no-nonsense advice. And you know that we will tell you the truth even when the truth is difficult to hear. But it is necessary if you have any hope of conquering the complex road of the US immigration system. So you must hear what is about to be said.

It has been a long year. A very long year, indeed. And it isn’t even over yet. And even with the start of the next year, things are unlikely to get easier. This administration promised, ran on and delivered an anti-immigration agenda. The year has left immigration attorneys and civil rights advocates exhausted and outraged time after time. With a never-ending assault on the rule of law, the use of reason and the need for humanity in decision making, nearly a year later, the climate in the US has become increasingly charged.

Despite this as a backdrop, we continue to see people who are unwilling to face the reality or the gravity of the situation. This is a mistake.

As immigration attorneys, we can only do what the law allows, in a manner it allows. But, we cannot do it alone. All too often we see people who, despite being told what all they must do in order to succeed in their case, put other things as a priority over their case. The fact is, if you are not making your immigration case a priority, you aren’t paying attention. If you are not making your immigration case a priority, you are placing your ability to remain in the US in jeopardy. This is a dangerous way to approach your immigration case especially when it is your life.

During the course of the year, we have faced those who are angered by the need to make their immigration case a priority or are perplexed about why we push for evidence, push for cooperation or demand that keen attention is paid to information sought from them. But, these are all things that require careful attention. There is no time for delay.

It is certainly an overwhelming time. Each day the news is filled with yet another way the immigration system is being used to create a challenging environment for immigrants. The only way to find a path is through the noise that is the current climate. Stay attentive to your case and what needs to be done. This is not the time for procrastination. This is time to gather your evidence and your courage and help fight for your future in the United States.

How Immigration Became Hate Speech

This morning, two journalists were killed by a man who, reportedly, was angry about racial issues. In a moment, two young lives were cut short and a nation again reeled into stunned silence. But, this isn’t about gun laws or gun restrictions. That is left for another day. What this is about is the level of hate and hate speech that seems to be apparent these days. Honestly, it is heartbreaking.

Turn to any media outlet and what you hear is hate. Hate because of race, hate because of gender, hate because of sexual preference, hate because of religious beliefs and hate because of national origin. Hate has become the message no matter what the topic.

When tragedy strikes, communities rally, they rise in solidarity and give each other comfort. But then, it all goes back to being the same. Nothing changes. Hate speech continues to be spewed and the media continues to give it a stage. Are we not better than this?

As the focus of the nation shifts to the elections in 2016, candidates have taken to spreading hate not only for each other, but have also begun advocating a hatred toward one another. Divisive speech has become the norm. Why do we continue to allow this?

America is a unique place. It is great in its ability to stand as an example of people from everywhere living and thriving in harmony. But, this harmony is at risk. As hate speech gains traction, the fabric of America is at risk of being torn. Can we really allow this to happen?

Immigration has become the latest weapon of choice. Instead of celebrating our differences, the speech has become toxic, pitting one group of people against another. Those who are in leadership roles, or who want to be in leadership roles, have made it their calling to exploit the fears and insecurities of groups of people. But how is this leadership?

As the debate heats up over birthright citizenship and walls at the border, all that is gained is more divisive, hate speech. What are missing are real solutions to difficult, complex laws that often cause more heartache than people ever hear about or understand. Honest dialog that reasonably examines issues of citizenship, the long time delays of an overburdened immigration system and the backlogs that cause immigration cases to linger in immigration courts across the nation are often left with a cursory review. The often harsh reality of a system that provides limited to no relief for families, employers and those fleeing hostile lands is lost in the sound bites that take over the 24 hour news cycle. So how does this change?

The preamble of the Constitution begins, “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” Perhaps time has come to step back the hate speech and come together as a people to demand that our leaders be defined in their ability to bring us together, to encourage tranquility, and protect this and future generations. It is after all what the founding fathers had set out to do so long ago.