You’ve rushed to make it to your green card interview on time. You ate a skimpy toast and jelly breakfast before you headed out. You carefully avoided reckless speedsters and lane changers on the freeway and then manuevered around large trucks on the streets moving slightly faster than a wounded snail. You breath a sigh of relief. You’re on time.
You’re ready for your big moment. You’re glad that you took time to put your face mask in your purse the night before and your papers are loosely thrown together in a tote bag. All you need now is for the others to arrive. You walk up to the security guards.
Little do you suspect that you have already run afoul of the new COVID-19 rules for USCIS interviews.
Sound a little harsh?
Good. I have your attention.
If you work with a notario, you’re likely ready to pounce on every word I write.
Perhaps reading my title, your ears perked up like a poodle sensing potential danger nearby.
Allow me to explain.
If you’ve ever hired an attorney, you know what I mean.
Sentences that go on forever. Words you’ve never heard before. Phrases you don’t comprehend.
Writing and speaking that makes you want to SCREAM for help.
Okay, I exaggerate.
Just a little.
I was not surprised when Jose lost.
Even though his case had some complicated twists, it was not unwinnable.
What was his fatal mistake?
The study of history, it’s been said, is the study of unintended consequences.
This is true on the personal as well as the public level. For immigrants, especially those from South and Central American countries, the proposition has dire meaning.
Beginning their journeys with uncertainty the norm, most of them realize unplanned events on the trail to the U.S. can lead to life-changing outcomes, abrupt endings, and death.
Arrival ensures no less unpredictability.
Small miscues can set in motion undesirable though foreseeable consequences.
Many folks decide to handle immigration cases on their own. That’s understandable.
It is rarely prudent.
Over the years, I’ve seen the outcome for countless individuals who decided to represent themselves in immigration matters.
Take immigration court hearings.
Representing my own clients fighting deportation at court, I’ve watched pro per immigrants sitting before a judge, neither comprehending court rules nor understanding what the judge is asking them.
It’s p-a-i-n-f-u-l to watch.
Let’s start by being honest.
Most immigrant clients don’t know what they don’t know.
So how can a lawyer know what they don’t know?
Yet, the majority of folks who call my office want quick, instant advice.