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Why Certain Immigrants Should Be Provided Legal Counsel At Immigration Court Hearings

Why Certain Immigrants Should Be Provided Legal Counsel At Immigration Court Hearings | Immigration Court Hearings | Scoop.it
A blog dedicated to advancing constructive dialogue on immigration. (RT @ImmPolicyCenter: In criminal courts, defendants must be provided with attorneys; in #immigration court, this is not always the case.
Carlos Batara's insight:

The need for mentally incompetent immigrants to be represented by appointed legal counsel is critical.  Deportation defense hearings are complicated enough even when everyone understands what happening.  When combined with convoluted rules in certain instances, mentally infirm immigrants stand almost no chance of ensuring fair hearings. 

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Billie Greenwood's curator insight, January 26, 2013 12:09 PM

I found this via attorney Carlos Batara and highly recommend his work on ScoopIt to any interested in immigration!

Immigration Court Hearings
Deportation Defense Tips To Help Win Your Case At Immigration Court https://www.bataraimmigrationlaw.com/deportation-removal-defense.html
Curated by Carlos Batara
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Immigrant Women And Children Are New Targets Of Deportation Policy

Immigrant Women And Children Are New Targets Of Deportation Policy | Immigration Court Hearings | Scoop.it

Potential Impact of Immigration Raids Targeting Women with Children The Obama administration's recent announcement of immigration raids targeting women and children has sparked heated debate.

Carlos Batara's insight:


Of these 18,607 removal orders involving women with children,  16,030 or 86 percent were issued for cases in which the women lacked any legal representation.



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500,000 Backlogged Immigration Cases And Growing

500,000 Backlogged Immigration Cases And Growing | Immigration Court Hearings | Scoop.it

"Attorney General Jeff Sessions trumpets the Trump Administration’s deportation policies, but the enduring lack of immigration judges around the country has taken hold of the court system."

Carlos Batara's insight:

 

Changes do not happen in a vacuum.  The issue is how many secondary changes are created as a result of primary changes.

 

For instance, under the Obama Administration, spending on law enforcement, detention, and deportation increased.  

 

The result?

 

More immigration court cases.

 

And that means?

 

The need for more immigration judges.

 

In 2008 there were 167,000 pending deportation defense cases.

 

According to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University, there are now 560,000 cases at immigration courts.

 

Yet, there are only 300 judges.  The backlog, as one might expect, is staggering.

 

Of course, the immigration court system has long been the forgotten step-child of immigration reform.

 

Today, with immigration reform nowhere in site under the Trump Administration, and detentions at an all time high, one should expect the situation at immigration court to worsen.

 

 

 

 

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A Modern Approach To Cancellation Of Removal Hardship Factors At Immigration Court

A Modern Approach To Cancellation Of Removal Hardship Factors At Immigration Court | Immigration Court Hearings | Scoop.it
Riverside Immigration Attorney Shares Defense And Removal Defense Tips To Prove Hardship For Undocumented Immigrants In Cancellation Of Removal Cases.
Carlos Batara's insight:

 

Immigration Law underwent a major change in 1996, as a result of far-reaching legislation known as the Illegal immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRAIRA).

 

Among the changes, the hardship formula in deportation court cases involving undocumented immigrants was tightened, limiting which factors could be considered as part of their defense.

 

However, the change is not necessarily as devastating as originally believed as the court is required to use a totality of the circumstances test and review valid indirect factors of hardship impacting the lives of qualified family members.

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How The Immigration Court Would Crash Under Donald Trump's Plan

How The Immigration Court Would Crash Under Donald Trump's Plan | Immigration Court Hearings | Scoop.it
Carlos Batara's insight:

 

President-elect Trump may want to quickly deport millions of immigrants. The reality, however, is not quite that simple.

 

Currently, immigration courts are struggling with a case backlog at an all-time high of 521,676. With only 300 judges, this creates a caseload of over 1,730 per judge. That's not including the refugees and migrants arriving at American ports of entry on a daily basis.

 

While it remains unclear what Trump will or won’t do, there is no doubt that his announced plans - to apprehend, detain, and deport three million immigrants - would not work in the already drowning immigration court system.

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Why Attorney Fees Is Not The Only Reason Why Immigrants Go To Immigration Court Alone

Why Attorney Fees Is Not The Only Reason Why Immigrants Go To Immigration Court Alone | Immigration Court Hearings | Scoop.it
70% of family cases – mostly Central Americans – have no legal representation and families without lawyers are much more likely to be deported – and fast
Carlos Batara's insight:

 

Two weeks ago, as I noted in an earlier Scoop tidbit, the American Immigration Council has released a new report, Access To Counsel In Immigration Court, covering 1.2 million removal (i.e., deportation) cases between 2007 and 2012.

 

Among their findings:

 

  • Access to legal counsel varies by geographic locations and ethnic groups;
  • Immigrants with a lawyer fared better than unrepresented immigrants;
  • Only 37% of all immigrants hired attorneys for their deportation cases.

 

A PDF version of the report can be downloaded here >>> https://www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/sites/default/files/research/access_to_counsel_in_immigration_court.pdf

 

Very little has changed over the past few years, as this video shows: What You Need To Know About Deportation And Immigration Hearings

 

There is one point of this report, in particular, that I'd like to briefly address: the inability of immigrants to afford a lawyer.

 

The report said immigrants from Mexico were the group least likely to be to represented by a lawyer (21%). The report also said such statistics reflect their economic status or their ability to find a lawyer through social networks.

 

I have a hard time accepting the inability of immigrants from Mexico to find a lawyer argument; there are a lot of lawyers helping immigrants, many of them at low cost.

 

The issue, in my view, is about more than merely financial ability.

 

Many of Mexican immigrants have family living in the U.S.  

 

Unlike immigrants from other countries, like Somalia, and many refugees from Central America, there is a lot of community support to find a job, to make a living.  In other words, attorney fees can usually be worked out.

 

I think some may not be able to afford a lawyer.  But not 79%.  In my view, many simply do not think hiring a lawyer - despite the risk of family separation - is a high priority.  Or they have been misled into believing that surviving the system is easy.

 

Both points are misguided.

 

Nothing is more serious, when it comes to keeping your family together, than winning your immigration court case.

 

At least for those with family support, financial cost should be made expressly secondary.  The 79% figure, given the difficulty of winning a case at immigration court, needs to be brought down. 

 

Lawyers can help, plain and simple - even though victory cannot be guaranteed - many improve their chances for success.

 

 

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First Ever Report On Access To Counsel In Immigration Court Reveals Glaring Problems

First Ever Report On Access To Counsel In Immigration Court Reveals Glaring Problems | Immigration Court Hearings | Scoop.it
Immigrants in immigration court do not have a right to government-appointed counsel. The lack of legal representation has a profound impact on immigrants’ outcomes in removal proceedings.
Carlos Batara's insight:

 

The American Immigration Council has released a new report, Access To Counsel In Immigration Court, covering 1.2 million removal (i.e., deportation) cases between 2007 and 2012.

 

Among their findings:

 

  • Access to legal counsel varies by geographic locations and ethnic groups
  • Immigrants with a lawyer fared better than unrepresented immigrants
  • Only 37% of all immigrants hired attorneys for their deportation cases

 

A PDF version of the report can be downloaded here >>> Access To Counsel In Immigration Court

 

Written by Ingrid Eagly and Steven Shafer, this is the first nationwide study of access to access to counsel in immigration court proceedings.

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Shortage Of Competent Translators For Ancient Mayan Languages At Immigration Courts

Shortage Of Competent Translators For Ancient Mayan Languages At Immigration Courts | Immigration Court Hearings | Scoop.it
The day Vinicio Nicolas found out whether he would be allowed to stay in the United States, and hopefully far from the gang trying to recruit him in Guatemala,
Carlos Batara's insight:

 

On any given day at immigration court, one is likely to hear at least five different languages per courtroom.  Some of the languages are rare to the U.S., forcing the court to scramble to locate competent translators.

 

Some of the new Central American refugees to arrive at our borders have accelerated this need.

 

As the Los Angeles Times recently reported:

 

"Successive waves in recent years of more than 100,000 immigrants from Central America — many of them boys and girls who came without their parents — have created a shortage of people who can translate Mayan languages, especially K’iché (Quiché) and Mam. This is an especially acute need for arrivals from Guatemala, which is home to more than two dozen indigenous languages, but also from countries such as Honduras.

 

Spoken by almost 80,000 people in mostly rural municipalities in Huehuetenango, Guatemala, Kanjobal is common in places like Santa Eulalia — where Vinicio grew up — but rare everywhere else.

 

Mam, a Mayan language spoken by more than 500,000 people in Guatemala, ranked ninth in the top 10 languages spoken in U.S. immigration court last fiscal year. Quiché ranked 11th. Both surpassed French, according to the Department of Justice Executive Office for Immigration Review."

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Interesting - Yet Incomplete - Statistics Clutter Immigration Reform Landscape

Interesting - Yet Incomplete - Statistics Clutter Immigration Reform Landscape | Immigration Court Hearings | Scoop.it
Carlos Batara's insight:


Please stop!


We all know statistics can be misleading.


And isolated statistics like these about a controversial topic like immigration, are, well, almost meaningless - unless the complete context of what is going on at immigration courts is examined.


For instance, how many types of "completed cases" are there and completed cases really final decisions?  (What's a final decision?)


In the last 30 days, I've read studies showing the following:


  • More cases being sent to immigration court
  • Less deportations taking place
  • Bigger backlog of incomplete cases
  • Less immigration judges on the bench
  • And, now more completed cases


Oh my, no wonder the public is confused about immigration issues.

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Overhaul Of Immigration Court System Requires Funding . . . And More

Overhaul Of Immigration Court System Requires Funding . . .  And More | Immigration Court Hearings | Scoop.it
The Director of The Executive Office For Immigration Review calls on Congress to fix a backlogged and overwhelmed US Immigration Court System.
Carlos Batara's insight:


According to Director Juan Osuna, “There’s no question that the system, the immigration court system, is under incredible stress right now.”


According to recent studies, the immigration court system added 306,045 new cases in 2014 alone. The increased the backlog, which now totals 445,607.  Since there are only 250 judges, it means each judge has to oversee 1,800 cases per year.


The immigration court, long a forgotten step-child of reform discussions, has experienced overcrowding for over a decade.


The problem began to grow out of control following the passage of legislation known as IIRAIRA, which opened the door to more deportations and detentions, and less avenues of relief.


Congress is now saying they will allocate more funds to address the staffing shortage.  This will not fix the root causes of the overcrowding problem.  They need to readdress and reverse IIRAIRA.  

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EOIR Proposes Immigrant-Friendly Change For Bond Hearings

EOIR Proposes Immigrant-Friendly Change For Bond Hearings | Immigration Court Hearings | Scoop.it
Riverside Immigration Attorney Discusses How Proposed Change For Lawyer Representation At Bond And Custody Hearings Will Promote Immigrant Family Unity.
Carlos Batara's insight:


Many aspects of immigration court run contrary to general notions of court proceedings.  For instance, in most courts, attorneys can make limited appearances so long as they show the court that the client has given his or her consent.


Not so in immigration court.  Here, you're locked in, unless a judge is kind enough to let you withdraw. 


This has created problems for many immigrants who need legal assistance at their bond and custody hearings but cannot afford to pay for a retainer covering future hearings.  Because most deportation lawyers are not willing to commit to being on the hook in the long term, perhaps several years, for a less-than-full retainer, these immigrants are left to go it alone.


As one might suspect, this has led to serious administration overload problems for immigration courts.  Thus, the EOIR has decided to propose a rule change, allowing legal representatives to help clients for bond and custody matters without being locked in the case on a permanent basis.


It seems like a good deal for immigrants to me.



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So You Have An Immigration Court Case? Get Ready To Hurry Up And Wait.

So You Have An Immigration Court Case? Get Ready To Hurry Up And Wait. | Immigration Court Hearings | Scoop.it
San Diego immigration lawyer shares why immigration court cases do not often move from start to finish quickly.
Carlos Batara's insight:


Unless you have a strong claim for prosecutorial discretion or a possible family unity claim to become a permanent resident, do not expect for your case to move from start to finish overnight.


Some cases, by necessity, take longer.  Other times, delays are caused by problems external to the immigration system.


Here are a few reasons why, if you're in proceedings at present, things are creeping slowly.

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Immigration Courts: In Need Of Modernized Technology

Immigration Courts: In Need Of Modernized Technology | Immigration Court Hearings | Scoop.it

Updated News, Stories, And Reports About Immigration Court By Immigration Expert Carlos Batara.

Carlos Batara's insight:


Anyone who has been in immigration court knows the truth of this story. Calling the video conferencing system “not very good” is putting it mildly.


As immigration court trial attorney, I can personally attest to the horrible, horrible equipment which not only judges, but also lawyers, clients, and witnesses must deal with on a daily basis.


In "The Technology The Government Uses For Immigration Hearings Doesn’t Work Right," one immigration court observer explains why the court's equipment, even if working correctly, is not an ideal way to hold hearings.  For immigrants to explain why they’ve entered the country in a convincing manner, he notes, "talking to someone on a TV … is just not a conducive setting.”


But since Congress holds the keys for upgrading, I don’t expect any quick fixes.

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How Immigration Court Statistics Are Dangerously Misleading

How Immigration Court Statistics Are Dangerously Misleading | Immigration Court Hearings | Scoop.it
The majority of immigration court cases now involve legal representation.
Carlos Batara's insight:


According to new immigration court statistics, the majority of cases now involve immigrants with legal representation.


Does this mean more immigrants are hiring immigration lawyers to assist them against deportation charges?


No.


At first glance, my views seem to conflict with those of Elahe Izadi, of the National Journal, who writes:


"In 2013, 59 percent of those in immigration proceedings had legal representation—that’s a big jump from 2009, when just 39 percent had lawyers. In 2012, a very slim majority of cases had clients with no legal representation. Those figures come from the 2013 statistical yearbook from the Executive Office for Immigration Review, or EOIR, which is part of the Justice Department."


Frankly speaking, I have trouble accepting the factual assertions.


When I go to immigration court, I still see large case dockets with few attorneys listed as legal representatives.


However, since statistics don’t lie, I’ll accept the immigration court numbers as valid.


It may be true, on a percentage basis, more immigrants are attending deportation defense hearings at immigration court with attorneys.


But over the past several years, as noted in What You Need To Know About Immigration Court Hearings, there have been approximately 150,000 deportation cases annually in which immigrants have been represented by legal counsel.


Overall this is just about the same amount of immigrants going to immigration court with a lawyer today - if both detained and non-detained cases are both counted. 


It’s just there are fewer cases . . . right now.


I also doubt that immigrant clients are “savvier” about their rights than before.


To be sure, there is more media attention paid to deportation policy.


There is greater awareness of certain highly-publicized programs like Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals (DACA).


As Crystal Williams, executive director of the American Immigration Lawyers Association points out, programs like [DACA] “have really brought the immigrant community into kind of a savvier understanding of what their rights might be.”


Yet, this level of awareness is not equivalent to a real understanding how the immigration court system works.


In my view, the current numbers seem to reflect the impact of the ongoing political chaos. Immigrants are stuck between a rock and a hard place.


On the one hand, massive detentions of immigrants are still taking place. Many lead to deportations outside the court system.


At the same time, there are some temporary relief measures in place, allowing immigrants to avoid immediate deportation proceedings.


Neither cause is a long term solution.


Potentially worse, both are indicators that the number of immigrants needing legal representation may well increase in the not-so-distant future.


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More Distortion About Open Immigration Floodgates, Immigration Courts, And Immigration Lawyers

More Distortion About Open Immigration Floodgates, Immigration Courts, And Immigration Lawyers | Immigration Court Hearings | Scoop.it

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has released a new memo to the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), articulating five core principles that immigration judges should adhere to when adjudicating immigration cases.

Carlos Batara's insight:

As one might expect, the numbers for immigrants placed in deportation proceedings dramatically increased this year:

 

According to a new memo published by Attorney General Jeff  Sessions, the immigration court caseload is now at 650,000, of which 100,000 is the projected increase int total pending cases between 2016 and 2017.

 

However, in Sessions view, the increase was too small, too slow. 

 

In the memo, Sessions highlighted "numerous policy changes in recent years have slowed down the adjudication of existing cases and incentivized further illegal immigration that led to new cases: DACA, Prosecutorial Discretion, and Provisional Waivers."

 

As a practicing immigration family unity lawyer, I cannot figure out how those programs "incentivized" illegal immigration.  

 

The Attorney General added how evil immigration defense lawyers - a favorite target of his - have conspired to use tactics designed to delay the adjudication of cases.  As proof, Sessions pointed to an 18% increase in continuances requested by immigrants respondents. 

 

Yet, as the American Immigration Lawyers Association countered,  the same report cited by Sessions demonstrated a 54% increase in continuances requested by government attorneys representing the Department of Homeland Security during the same period. 

 

As disappointing as the Sessions Memo is, it is not unexpected.  He will not be content until a 50 foot high wall is built in the U.S. southwestern regions. 

 

 

 

 

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Express Deportations: Court-Orders Without Court Hearings?

Express Deportations: Court-Orders Without Court Hearings? | Immigration Court Hearings | Scoop.it
A new legal tactic shortens the wait time for deportation of foreign nationals convicted of a crime.
Carlos Batara's insight:

 

For anyone who doubts the Trump Administration's commitment to deporting immigrants, this latest move should remove any doubt. 

 

 

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Training For Immigration Judges Eliminated

Training For Immigration Judges Eliminated | Immigration Court Hearings | Scoop.it

"Reliable sources have now confirmed the DOJ has eliminated the U.S. Immigration Court’s only formal annual training."

Carlos Batara's insight:

 

At a recent public relations event in El Paso, Texas, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the Department of Justice plan to "streamline the immigration judge process" and hire 50 judges this year and 75 more next year.

 

Yet, during this same period of time, the Immigration Court’s only formal annual training conference was cancelled. Since some of the new judges will have limited, if any, experience in immigration law, the news does not bode well for either the immigration bench or bar.

 

The immigration court, in the view of most commentators, is a broken system.

 

With a court already backlogged 50,000 cases, operating with substandard resources, and dealing with new policies almost every week, the cancellation seems a poorly-reasoned policy decision.

 

Rather than improve the efficiency of immigration courts, it appears an almost certain move in the opposite direction - a move that a broken system cannot afford.

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Court Interpreters Busy In Tampa Bay Due To Increase Of Immigrant Families

Court Interpreters Busy In Tampa Bay Due To Increase Of Immigrant Families | Immigration Court Hearings | Scoop.it


In the Tampa Bay area, courts are facing an unprecedented demand for interpreters.  

 

At present, local courts utilize translators certified in 17 different languages, including Haitian Creole, Mandarin, Portuguese, Arabic, Laotian, Swahili, Vietnamese, and Russian on an ongoing basis..

 

Unsurprisingly, Spanish is by the most requested language..  

 

This is a reflection of the continuing influx of immigrants moving to the area.  

Facing the larger demand, the state budget for interpreter services has increased by nearly 40 percent in the past 11 years to $3.3 million this fiscal year. 


With immigrant populations continuing to grow, the need for translators will likely continue into the foreseeable future.

 


Via Charles Tiayon
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Immigration Judges Attend Training To Fight Their Own Prejudices

Immigration Judges Attend Training To Fight Their Own Prejudices | Immigration Court Hearings | Scoop.it
More than 250 judges attended anti-bias training in August as part of a Justice Department initiative to reduce bias in deportation proceedings.
Carlos Batara's insight:

 

It's not uncommon for folks to have some bias against one or another ethnic group.  But it is unreasonable to not control such prejudice, especially when one is in a position of public authority and responsibility like immigration judges.

 

As a result, after more than two decades as an immigration defense lawyer, bumping heads with judges who made little, if any, effort to conceal their biased attitudes, this New York Times article written by Caitlin Dickerson is music to my ears.  

 

This is not meant to imply all immigration judges exhibit such tendencies.  I have encountered many hard-working judges who give it their best in spite of the Congressional neglect towards the immigration court system.

 

The training may not be enough for some members of the immigration bench, but it's a decent start nonetheless.  

 

I hope such training is continued and become a regular part of judges' annual training.

 

In my view, reducing the immigration misery index for immigrant families is a worthy goal. 

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Although Deportation Statistics Show Recent Decline, The Annual Total Remain Near All Time High

Although Deportation Statistics Show Recent Decline, The Annual Total Remain Near All Time High | Immigration Court Hearings | Scoop.it
The Obama administration deported 414,481 unauthorized immigrants in fiscal 2014, a drop from the prior year driven by a decline in deportations of immigrants
Carlos Batara's insight:

 

My reaction to this article can be summarized in two quick questions:

 

(1) Who needs Trump?  The deportation figures under the Obama Administration are already at all-time highs.

 

(2) Under Clinton, will the numbers increase, decrease, or remain about the same? 

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Salvadoran Immigrant Child Wins VAWA Deportation Case

Salvadoran Immigrant Child Wins VAWA Deportation Case | Immigration Court Hearings | Scoop.it
Salvadoran Immigrant Child Wins Her Deportation Case Under The Violence Against Women Act At Immigration Court Based On The Abuse Suffered By Her Mother.
Carlos Batara's insight:


This was one of those cases where the law had to be tested - or else a perfectly innocent immigrant would suffer the horrors of deportation.

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Why Congress Won't Fix Immigration Court Problems: Because A Working System Might Help Immigrants?

Why Congress Won't Fix Immigration Court Problems: Because A Working System Might Help Immigrants? | Immigration Court Hearings | Scoop.it
Over the last 10 years, the workload of the federal immigration court system has increased by 146% to an astounding 453,948 active cases at the end of July. The average amount of time each of those cases has been pending: 627 days. Some have been lingering for years.
Carlos Batara's insight:


Stories like these frustrate me.


The title, "The Immigration Court Backlog: Why Won't Congress Act," makes one think the article carries some new insights on a long-standing problem.


For instance, several years ago, immigration defense attorneys knew they were practicing law in the dark.  


Yet, despite the grand title, the article merely recites facts.


So the public is left to take it a step further on their own.


Okay, let's do that. As a Riverside family unity and deportation defense lawyer, I have often asked why won't Congress act in the face of such glaring needs?


The answer is really simple.  Because this is not a priority issue for them.


Okay, why not?


Could it be that by fixing immigration court, deportation rules need to be revised?


And, then, horror of horrors, perhaps more immigrants would win their fights against deportation?

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Misguided Deportation Law: Prosecuting Victims Of Domestic Violence

Misguided Deportation Law: Prosecuting Victims Of Domestic Violence | Immigration Court Hearings | Scoop.it

 
BY SALLY J. KIM

Korean immigrant mother Jo, subjected to abuse by her daughter’s father and former partner, Jesse Charlton, found herself entangled in criminal, family law, and immigration systems.


Via Community Village Sites
Carlos Batara's insight:


Immigration law has many flaws.  Deportation rules are at the top of the list.


This case represents one of several examples in which innocent victims of domestic abuse wind up being placed in immigration court proceedings to face removal charges.


For now, the only solution is to follow in the footsteps of this victim.  Don't give up.  Fight back.   


However, trying to handle a VAWA immigration case on your own is generally not a good idea.  The ordeal of this woman shows why.


Until VAWA protections are taken seriously by all agencies involved, and proper translation protections are put in place, immigrant women will remain crucially vulnerable to misguided deportation laws






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Immigration Detention Courts: Not The Friendliest Places On Earth

Immigration Detention Courts: Not The Friendliest Places On Earth | Immigration Court Hearings | Scoop.it

In an article entitled “I’d Like To Be Deported: A Day At Immigration Court,” Jeff Wrinkler describes his recent visit to watch immigration hearings. 

Carlos Batara's insight:


As a deportation defense lawyer, I've been to far more than immigrant detention centers than I care to acknowledge.


They have one overriding characteristic in common: a lack of friendliness and hospitality.


Thus, I found Jeff Wrinkler's article, I'd Like To Be Deported: A Day At Immigration Court, somewhat comforting - comforting only in the sense that it validates my perceptions.


When I think about the judicial system posing for immigration courts, I recall Adlai Stevenson quip, "I'm too old to cry but it hurts too much to laugh."



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Immigration Judicial Independence Still Missing

Immigration Judicial Independence Still Missing | Immigration Court Hearings | Scoop.it

Immigration Judges Have Joined The Ongoing Call To Create An Independent Immigration Court System.


Carlos Batara's insight:


What other evidence does Congress need in order to improve the immigration judicial system?


Besides the usual collective cries of immigrants, immigration reform advocates, and immigration attorneys, in recent months, two critically important legal organizations have joined to ask for an independent immigration court.


First, the American Bar Association releases a hard hitting report detailing many of the current system's shortcomings


Now, the Immigration Judges Association.


But more importantly, improvement is needed for those whose lives on the line: the immigrant defendants.


Take a not uncommon Inland Empire scenario.


Out of the clear blue, I get a frantic mobile Riverside immigration defense request, my first impulse is to encourage the caller to slow down. 


After all, the road to deportation relief, via the immigration court, is going to be a long bumpy ride.  


Unfortunately.


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Should Immigrants Hire Lawyers For The Fight Of Their Lives?

Should Immigrants Hire Lawyers For The Fight Of Their Lives? | Immigration Court Hearings | Scoop.it

Before You Act Alone, Here Are A Few Issues To Help Decide If A Deportation Defense Trial Attorney Is Essential To Your Success At Immigration Court.

Carlos Batara's insight:


Over my 20+ years of experience, I've met many immigrants who lost winnable cases.  A large percentage tried to go it alone, opting to represent themselves.  


This is, far more often than not, a recipe for disaster. 


Financial costs are not the only reasons immigrants fail to hire lawyers to help them.


As discussed in "Why Deportation Defense Attorneys Are Vital To Your Immigration Court Success", immigrants often succumb to mental traps which sink the dreams of their families:


  • Blindly trusting the news, or blindly trusting what they think the news reported;
  • Assuming because a friend won his or her case, some immigrants believe their cases won't be much different or more complicated;
  • Not working hard enough to prepare the evidence necessary to win;
  • Believing that hardships which will be caused to one's family are sufficient to win a judge's mercy.


Of course, victory can never be absolutely assured. 


Yet, all of these errors could be avoided with competent counsel, and that simple reality improves the odds of immigrant success.



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