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The Complexity of Immigration Law

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I was recently asked what I'd like non-immigration attorneys to know about the practice of immigration law. The first thing that came to mind is it's complexity.  This is not to say other areas of law are not incredibly complex, but a flavor of what a typical immigration lawyer encounters may be enlightening for lawyers and non-lawyers alike. In a landmark decision expanding rights of noncitizens regarding proper immigration advice before a guilty plea, the U.S. Supreme Court specifically stated, “Immigration law can be complex, and it is a legal specialty of its own.” Padilla v Kentuck y (2010).  The court was right to underscore this, and it’s understandable how many can overlook just how complex immigration law is. For example, different “legal statuses” exist for noncitizens depending on their purpose of entry. There are temporary entries ranging from visitor or student, to refugee and myriad of narrowly defined occupations.  Then there is Legal Permanent Residency, or &quo

How It Started, How It's Going: Biden On Immigration?

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I think most immigration advocates agree it's been a mixed bag.  There were immediate reversals of SOME of President Trump's most anti-immigration executive orders, but not all.  Suprising, given President Biden's pro-immigrant rhetoric. One example is the refugee moratorium, which the administration declined to lift until there was a public outcry.  Another is the many months it took the AG to recind the onerous Castro-Tum decision, which imposed procedural restrictions on immigration judges.   I myself had a client who grew up in the US but was deported under Castro-Tum rule, even though the immigration judge HERSELF ruled he was eligible for a U Visa. Before Castro-Tum, he could have stayed in America waiting for its approval. Under Castro-Tum, he was deported to a life in Mexico he's never known.  How many countless noncitizens were unfairly deported while Merrick Garland delayed this no-brainer move? Castro-Tum should have been rescinded the day he was confirmed.