Category: religious diversity

Fifth Circuit Rules that Expedited Removal Applies to All Aliens

In a decision issued last week, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that expedited removal under INA 238 applies to all aliens. INA 238 allows the expedited removal of any alien who is confined in a correctional institution and convicted of an aggravated felony. Under the statute the Department of Homeland Security must issue a Notice of Intent to proceed through expedited proceedings. The alien may apply for Withholding of Removal under the Torture Convention if he has a fear of returning to his country.
Valdiviez-Hernandez was under investigation for allegedly using someone else’s identity and social security number. ICE found a firearm in his house for which he was convicted as an illegal alien in possession of a firearm. The Service initiated expedited removal proceedings and he refused to sign the Notice. He also failed to respond to the allegations. The immigration judge denied his request for Withholding of Removal and he appealed. He argued that he was not subject to expedited removal since he was not admitted to the United States since he entered the United States illegally. The court rejected this argument and followed other circuits ruling that nothing in the statute limits these proceedings to lawfully admitted aliens. The court thus denied the petition for review and upheld the removal order. 
The argument that Valdiviez-Hernandez was not subject to expedited removal because he was not admitted was doomed from the beginning since the statute clearly expands these proceedings to legal and illegal aliens. The better argument would have been a challenge to the procedure on Due Process grounds. I will follow this case to see if Valdiviez-Hernandez files a petition for rehearing en banc

On Religious Diversity: The Story of Tucker & Ludin P.A.

On Religious Diversity: The Story of Tucker & Ludin P.A. 
I have lived in the United States for the better part of two decades. I am not saying that I haven’t faced some ignorance in these years, but I know that life here in the United States has been a wonderful journey where I have met so many wonderful people who have been like family away from home. I am truly glad that seven months ago, I joined a truly diverse group of attorneys at Tucker & Ludin. This experience has been nothing but wonderful. One thing that stands out from this experience however, is that I work with three other attorneys who represent three other major religious groups.  We all make a great team, and we are all proof that major religious groups can work together.

I am truly saddened by last week’s events. I grew up in Lebanon, a country that torn by a sectarian war that pitted neighbor against neighbor because they were from different religions. They forgot that before the war started, they were neighbors and ate at the same table. I ran away from bombs and as a young boy, I spent a lot of time in shelters while Lebanese brothers fought over religion. The last couple of weeks saw what could happen when religion goes to the extreme, where people riot and kill in the name of religion. Unfortunately as we saw in the case of our own ambassador in Libya, innocent people who try to quell the rift between cultures and religions end up dead.

At Tucker & Ludin we truly celebrate our religious diversity. We sit at the same table, discussing the same issues that pull people around the world apart. This diversity allows us to understand our clients and cater to a diverse body of clients. If you need an attorney who understands your cultural needs, please contact us at Tucker & Ludin P.A.