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My Panel Discussion at AILA CFC’s Annual Conference and Why it is VERY IMPORTANT for You to Hire an ETHICAL ATTORNEY

I had the pleasure of speaking before AILA Central Florida Chapter’s 28th Annual Conference this past weekend. It was my first such engagement before the group and it was one of the best experiences of my life.

I had the pleasure of meeting immigration superstars like Mary Kramer and Ira Kurzban, who are considered two of the best immigration attorneys in the country.

The main issue discussed during my panel discussion was the unique ethical issues immigration lawyers face because of the special circumstances with which they deal. I discussed the problems of confidentiality and communication, which sometimes complicate the immigration attorney’s task. Immigration attorneys face unique problems because most of their clients do not usually speak English and face other cultural circumstances that may make complicate the representation.

It is very important to choose an ethical attorney with an excellent reputation when hiring an immigration attorney. An ethical attorney with an excellent reputation among adjudications officers will facilitate your case, because the government trusts your attorney.

Please leave me a comment with your thoughts or email me at yakzana@gmail.com if you have any questions.

Know Yourself Before Applying for An Immigration Benefit

I will  be discussing the second case that I discussed in my last post. This case involved a Respondent with so many identities, that the court could not find out his true identity. In Singh v. Holder, a Respondent appealed the Board of Immigration Appeals‘ order affirming the immigration judge’s decision denying his application for adjustment of status. He claimed that his due process rights were violated and that the Board erred in holding that he could not prove that he was admitted into the United States.

Singh claimed that his name in Tarsem Singh and was born on June 13, 1982, and that he entered the United States in 1995. He was also known as Simranjit Singh. He was smuggled into the United States as the daughter of a family friend. He was apprehended by ICE in 1997 and was served with for I-213. The document showed that he was born in 1978, making him 19 years old at the time. He was removed in absentia after he failed to appear for his removal hearing.  His mother procured a new birth certificate for him, with a new name and a new birthday, making him 15 years old. He filed a motion to reopen the case arguing that he did not receive proper notice of the old proceeding, which was granted. He then moved to terminate the proceedings arguing that he was a minor at the time and termination was warranted under 8 C.F.R. § 236.3. The immigration judge ordered his removal reasoning that he was nineteen when served with the first Notice to Appear. He also ruled that he was not inspected by an immigration officer, since his story could not be credited. The Board upheld the immigration judge’s decision.

The First Circuit rejected Singh’s argument that his due process rights were violated since he was given enough notice to speak to his father about his arrest and because the curt could not prove his true age. The court also ruled that Singh could not show that he was inspected since he could not provide proof of such inspection. Thus, the court upheld the Board‘s decision.

I think that this case should not have been appealed. I believe that as practitioners we should be cautious of what we appeal, due to the concern that we establish bad law. I welcome your comments and feedback.

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