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Shortage Of Ancient Mayan Language Translators At Immigration Courts


Many immigration clients, advocates, pundits, and commentators often overlook the little things that can make a big difference in court cases.

Like translators.

The role of interpreters seems a given to those who infrequently step into a courtroom.  But those of us who live within those four walls day in and day out know the reality.

Good interpreters make a hugh difference.

Good interpreters ensure a modicum of due process. [continue reading…]

One Million Backlogged Immigration Court Cases And Growing


One hour, 10.5 minutes.

That’s how much time, on the average, an immigration judge has to dedicate to an immigrant’s case at the Los Angeles immigration court per year.

If you’re one of the thousands of Angelinos, who has been summoned to 606 South Olive,  in overcrowded Los Angeles, to an overcrowded court, consider yourself lucky.

Immigration judges nationwide get less time to review similar matters. [continue reading…]

The Absence Of Neutrality At Immigration Court

Henry Adams was right.


A great teacher affects eternity; no one knows where his or her influence stops.

Larry Schwartz, my college history instructor, was that type of educator.

Outside my parents, Professor Schwartz was the most influential person in my life.  As an educator, he guided my studies of social, racial, and political injustices. As a mentor, he inspired me to become a professional dedicated to helping the downtrodden and disadvantaged.

He taught me, above all else, that law is the ultimate instrument of political power. [continue reading…]

Too Much Due Process For Immigrants In Deportation Hearings?


The immigration court system has many flaws. Too much due process is not one of them.

A few years back, Law Professor Bennett L. Gershman aptly described how immigration courts work:

“Imagine a legal proceeding where the judge is hired by the chief prosecutor, the defendant is charged with an unintelligible offense, he has no lawyer to defend him, the proceedings are conducted in a language he does not understand, and the punishment is banishment from his home, his livelihood, and his family for the rest of his life.” [continue reading…]

Immigration Courts: The Neglected Children Of Immigration Reform


The immigration court system needs repair.

The State Of Our Courts: A View From The Inside,” a report issued by the National Association Of Immigration Judges, revealed:

“The Immigration Courts caseload is spiraling out of control, dramatically outpacing the judicial resources and making a complete gridlock of the current system a disturbing and foreseeable probability. The morale of the immigration judges corps is plummeting.”

Yet, immigration courts are rarely mentioned in current immigration reform discussions. [continue reading…]

The Immigration Court Circus: Prosecutorial Discretion Panels And Low Priority Cases


The immigration prosecutorial discretion circus is coming to a city near you. But it’s unclear which performers are arriving and what acts will be carried out. [continue reading…]

Immigration Court Overcrowding: Prelude To Prosecutorial Discretion


In August 2010, ICE Director John Morton recommended expanding the use of prosecutorial discretion in all phases of immigration law.

Following loud public criticism, these ideas quickly disappeared. [continue reading…]

The Congressional War Against Due Process At Immigration Court


Back in my days as a political science professor, I would point out how candidates scapegoat politically powerless individuals for self gain.

Like undocumented immigrants.

Since they cannot vote, their ability to fight back is nearly non-existent. [continue reading…]

Why Building An Immigration Court In The Inland Empire Is A Good Idea


Apparently, immigration officials haven’t read recent reports about how to fix our broken immigration system.

Perhaps they just don’t care.

But whatever their rationale, their recently-announced plan to open a new immigration detention center in Southern California is misguided. [continue reading…]