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  1. Showdown over Immigration

    by , 07-07-2010 at 11:43 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    "The legal showdown over Arizona's immigration law puts the spotlight on
    the emotional debate over issue. It has sharply divided people along
    political, ideological and ethnic lines. State senator and author of the
    Arizona law Russell Pearce and Isabel Garcia, deputy public defender in
    Pima County, Arizona have a heated discussion with CNN's Tony Harris" ~Sydney McIntosh: Associate Producer CNN
  2. Somali detained in Montreal no-fly list case released from immigration custody

    by , 07-07-2010 at 06:02 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    My client, Abdirahman Ali Gaal, has been released from immigration custody and has been reunited with his family in Seattle, Washington.  Mr. Gaal is a citizen of Somalia, and is a lawful permanent resident of the United States.  This past spring Mr. Gaal spent approximately two months abroad on vacation.  When attempting to return home Mr. Gaal's May 30, 2010 Aeromexico flight that was en route to Mexico was diverted to Montreal, Canada by United States officials because of his placement on a "no-fly" list.  Once in Canada, Mr. Gaal was returned to the United States by Canadian authorities, and was taken into custody by U.S. immigration officials who instituted removal proceedings against him.  My client has been charged with abandoning his Green Card because he went to Canada in 2008 for ten months to console his grieving spouse whose mother had a stroke that ultimately took her life.  The Government has also alleged that Mr. Gaal is inadmissible to the United States for having committed a crime in Canada that he has
    never been charged with, and that he is not guilty of.  The alleged criminal violation relates to him using a name on a Canadian convention refugee application that was not currently his legal name.  The name Mr. Gaal put on his application is a name that
    he has legally used in the past, and is a family name culturally.  Parenthetically, Mr. Gaal withdrew his application prior to ever being scheduled for an interview with Canadian immigration authorities. Mr. Gaal returned to the United States in 2008 after he burried his mother-in-law, resuming his lawful
    status as a Green Card holder.  At that time he was inspected and admitted to the United States by U.S. immigration officials after having disclosed the length of time he was in Canada, and that he had applied for status in Canada that was ultimately withdrawn.  Mr. Gaal then remained in the U.S. until this
    last trip abroad in 2010. When Mr. Gaal was last in Canada after having his flight diverted, the Canadian authorities did not elect to charge Mr. Gaal with a crime, presumably because he hasn't committed one. Mr. Gaal is not currently facing any criminal charges in the United States.  The Department of Homeland Security instead elected to institute immigration proceedings against him rather than hold him under suspicion. Immigration Court proceedings are currently scheduled this Thursday in Batavia, New York but it is anticipated that venue will be changed to Seattle, Washington as a result of Mr. Gaal's release from immigration custody.We intend to vigorously defend the charges against Mr. Gaal as they are entirely frivolous.
  3. Report from the AILA Conference

    So, for the time since I struck out on my own as an attorney, I attended an AILA (American Immigration Lawyers Association) conference.  I had avoided it in the past because it was too expensive (about $800.00 for the conference fee alone) and I didn't think I would get much out of it.  Turns out, I really enjoyed the conference-it is fun to meet and hear about people who are doing the same work as you and who speak the same "language," though invariably I spent most of the time hanging out with people I already knew.  Although the fee was pretty steep, I'm glad I went, and maybe I will go again next year if I am feeling flush.
    I also had an opportunity to speak on a panel with some very impressive people, including two professors, a USCIS employee, and another private attorney.  The subject was the UN Convention Against Torture ("CAT").  More specifically, we talked about how the Torture Convention might apply to non-governmental actors.  My role was pretty easy-I presented some hypothetical examples for the audience and the panelists to discuss.  Since I am not so creative, my hypos were actual cases that I had litigated.  One "hypo" examined whether a woman who feared female genital mutilation in her country could gain relief under the CAT.  In real life, I lost that case, though I managed to convince the IJ that FGM was torture.  At least one federal court of appeals has found that FGM can constitute torture. See Tunis v. Gonzales, 447 F.3d 547 (7th Cir. 2006).  The other case involved an African drug smuggler who feared that corrupt police would kill him to retaliate for his cooperation with the U.S. authorities.  That case, I won, as there was strong evidence that he would be murdered if he returned to his home country.

    The audience responds to my analysis of the UN Convention Against Torture.
    Aside from that panel, there were a number of panels-and some informal meetings-relevant to the asylum practitioner.  Two that were directly related to asylum law were a panel on demonstrating harm in asylum applications, and another examining what constitutes a "particular social group."  I thought both panels were helpful, and they featured some of the top people in the field, including speakers from law schools, USCIS, the United Nations, and various human rights groups (shout out to Human Rights First, who was there en mass). 
    AILA is often perceived as an organization more relevant to business immigration than to asylum or Immigration Court practice.  Maybe it was the people I hung out with and met, but there seemed to be a lot of fellow travelers at the conference.  The fact is, however, that there is not a whole lot of crossover between business immigration and asylum/deportation defense.  One solution might be to have a conference targeted at the more public interest-oriented practitioners, and a second conference for the business practitioner.  Although my eyes glaze over at the thought of working on a business immigration case, I must confess that it was nice to attend a conference with all sorts of immigration attorneys.  There is certainly something to be said for not becoming over specialized, and the diverse topics at the AILA conference gave us a chance to learn about something new.  
    Overall, it was a useful and energizing conference.  I hope to be back next year.

    by , 07-06-2010 at 02:03 PM (Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy)
    Not a shock (and already mentioned in the comment). The Obama Administration is officially challenging SB1070. This was strongly suggested in various White House comments over the last few weeks, but it's nice to see something official.
  5. Jul 6 - More Articles Fast

    -----------------IMMIGRATION DAILY FROM ILW.COM------------------
    July 6, 2010,0706.shtm
    6 Articles
    3 News Items
    10 Tweets
    Classifieds: Translation Services
    1. Comment: More Articles Fast
    Since we moved to a more compact format for Immigration Daily, we
    have streamlined the article production process and eliminated
    summarizing of articles. Immigration Daily carries more articles
    than ever before. What does that mean for you? If you are a
    reader, it means more articles delivered to you in a more timely
    fashion. Articles are clearly marked "Article: Title by Author"
    and you will need to click on the links to read the articles. If
    you are a writer, it means super-fast turn around time for the
    dissemination of your thoughts--typically only one business day.
    We encourage all of our Attorney authors who wish to reach a wide
    audience of our 35,000+ readers of immigration professionals,
    government officials and immigrants to submit articles to
    2. Article: How To Recover Your Money Or Goods Confiscated By
    Customs Or Ice by Robert J. DuPont,0706-DuPont.shtm
    3. Article:
    A Reviewers Notebook: The Birth Dearth by John Chamberlain for
    the Foundation For Economic Education,0706-chamberlain.shtm
    4. Article: No Time for Lame Ducking on Immigration by Angelo A.
    5. Article: PERM at the AILA Conference in Washington by Joel
    6. Article: Colbert: Come On Americans, Take Our Farmworker Jobs
    by Greg Siskind,0706-siskind.shtm
    7. Article: Second Circuit Albanian Asylum Decision: what
    constitutes a "political act" by Matthew Kolken,0706-kolken.shtm
    8. News: DOJ Sues Arizona,0706-usavarizona.pdf
    9. News: DOL Announces H-2A National Electronic Job Registry,0706-registry.shtm
    10. News: DOL Publishes H-2A National Electronic Job Registry
    Fact Sheet,0706-registryfactsheet.pdf
    11. Focus: Waiver Practice In Consular Processing
    Wednesday, July 7th is the deadline to sign up for the Thursday,
    July 8th phone session of "Consular Processing Tips for Experts"
    with Jan Pederson (discussion leader), Evan Green, Paul Isel,
    Karin King, Laurel Scott, Gerald Seipp, Elaine Witty and others.
    The curriculum is as follows:
    ++ Waiver practice in Consular Processing
    ++ How to prepare an IV waiver package
    ++ Strategies for avoiding criminal conviction inadmissibilities
    ++ Pretrial detention in lieu of conviction
    ++ Humanitarian parole
    ++ Visa Waiver at port of entry
    ++ NIW Waiver Processing
    ++What to include in package
    ++Matter of Haranka
    ++ Coming to America when visa not issued
    Wednesday, July 7 is the deadline to sign up. For more info,
    including speaker bios, detailed curriculum, and registration
    information, please see: Online: Fax form: Don't delay, sign up
    12. Tweet: Justice Dept. sues, seeks injunction on Ariz.
    immigration law
    13. Tweet: Department of Justice Files Lawsuit Challenging
    #Arizona #Immigration Law
    14. Tweet: CLE seminar on July 8th: Learn Consular Processing For
    Experts; Waiver Practice In Consular Processing. Sign up at
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    engine ranking, increased name recognition and referrals. Sign up
    16. Tweet: From the Antis: Requeim for Senator Byrd
    17. Tweet: Utah immigrant e-verification program has loophole
    18. Tweet: Not Anyone's Daughter
    19. Tweet: Ry Cooder's "Quicksand," Response to Arizona
    Immigration Law, Now Available on iTunes; Proceeds Donated to
    20. Tweet: The Consular Posts Book: this useful guide covers
    major consular posts, theory & practice. Get your copy at #immigration
    21. Tweet: The #Immigration Compliance Book: Understand I-9
    concepts, I-9 advanced topics and E-Verify. Get your copy today
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