Although there are several myths about immigration law, there is one myth that just occurred to me like a light bulb went off in my head. This myth is so interesting to me because I have been practicing immigration law for 10 years and I just now discovered this inconsistency about immigration law.
OUR CURRENT FACTUAL REALITY
Have you noticed that immigration officials, including USCIS and even Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE, these are the guys who arrest!) Have attempted in every way to make their "services" available to the general public? For instance, most people know by now that uscis.gov has forms available online, and that they even have a 1-800 # where supposedly trained officers are there to "help" people fill out their forms and answer questions. As for ICE, they have even recently changed their website according to the recent news flash.
But the key here is that as an experienced immigration attorney, I have noticed that the only so-called immigration reform we are seeing these days in through strict immigration enforcement. In other words, Immigration is arresting and deporting people at alarming rate. In fact, TRAC, an agency that studies US Federal statistics, has been consistently reporting that immigration enforcement and immigration statements are at an all time high!
In this year of 2010 under the Obama administration, DHS is proud to announce that almost 400,000 illegal aliens have been removed (ie exported) from the US This number is astoundingly large, especially in comparison to previous years.
OK, SO WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
Well, as I said, it occurred to me that USCIS and ICE are spending MILLIONS of dollars to drastically make access to immigration forms to the public layman easy to find. At the same time, the same government agencies are spending BILLIONS to deport and remove from the US the same people that they are alleging to help.
So what does this mean for you? It means that when you are decising the fate of yourself or your loved ones in the US, you must be smarter than the USCIS and ICE and consider the political environment we are in now. Money speaks, as the saying goes. So why is the US government spending so much money on "improving" access and at the same time spending even more money to deport people?
The answer is simple and it is the great immigration myth of 2010. It is because the US government knows that when a person from the general public files an application with USCIS or even worse, shows up at USCIS doorstep by attending an interview without the presence of an experienced and licensed attorney, then that individual has effectively WAIVED all of his or her RIGHTS !!
Yes, that is correct. That under our current immigration system, there is NO protection for illegals who protest that they now need a lawyer. Even criminal defenders can attest, "I want a lawyer," and the officer is required to stop questioning. Well, this is NOT the case for immigrants. I know from experience since I have heard from individuals who became my clients. They told me that when filed on their own and were arrested or being questioned by ICE or USCIS officers, the response from government officials to the plea of "I want a lawyer" is no response at all. The officer will continue to question, interrogate and even threaten severe consequences to the person himself or his or her family (deportation for all, children being taken away by social services, etc.) even if the person requests an attorney during that time.
So how do you avoid the great immigration myth? Hire a trained and experienced immigration lawyer from start to finish, as USCIS and ICE are NOT ALLOWED to contact individuals who directly have a lawyer on record. You need to OUTSMART immigration, so that you can secure you and your family's future here in the US