Tag Archives: Immigration

The Need For Discretion

Recently, in browsing a well-known local lawyer’s website, I found the following “News” article on their blog:

Attorney X convinced a [local] prosecutor to dismiss Armed Robbery charges, all felonies, and all gun charges, despite the defendant being caught nearly red-handed with a shotgun in his fleeing vehicle.

The defendant plead to Second Degree Assault, a misdemeanor, giving him a strong chance to avoid certain deportation that he would have faced with any felony or gun charge. He will be eligible for parole in one month.

While there may be some ethical concern over publicizing past successes without adequately informing potential clients that there is no guarantee of such success in any particular case, that is not my main concern. The biggest problem with this self-serving news article is that it may harm the client in the future. Continue reading

DOJ Hotline for Civil Rights Concerns About Alabama’s Anti-Immigrant Law

Via the crImmigration blog:

The U.S. Department of Justice posted the following message on its Facebook page last week:”To report potential civil rights concerns related to the impact of Alabama’s immigration law H.B. 56, please contact 1-855-353-1010 or [email protected]

Is Simple Assault a Crime Involving Moral Turpitude post-Silva-Trevino?

As discussed in a previous post, in Silva-Trevino, ex-Attorney General Mukasey attempted to drastically revise nearly a century of jurisprudence governing the analysis used to determine whether a particular conviction constitutes a crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT).  This post will attempt to answer the question –  when are the Immigration Courts allowed to look beyond the record of conviction to determine whether a conviction for simple assault is a CIMT?

EDIT: After the Fourth Circuit’s recent decision rejecting Silva-Trevino in Prudencio v. Holder, this approach is looking more and more vulnerable to attack.  Check to see whether Silva-Trevino is still good law in your circuit. I discuss the Fourth Circuit decision here.

FURTHER EDIT – IMPORTANT: The Supreme Court’s June 2013 decision in Descamps v. US clarified when the modified-categorical approach is to be used for determining whether a crime is a crime of violence. This has completely changed the Fourth Circuit’s analysis of whether simple assault type crimes will be a crime of violence (and therefore a CIMT). See US v. Royal (4th Cir., Oct. 2013).  I imagine that the situation is changing quickly in other circuits as well.

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Opening Argument in Upcoming Eritrean Asylum Case Involving Jehovah’s Witness

I have an upcoming merits hearing in the Baltimore Immigration Court for a Jehovah’s Witness seeking asylum from Eritrea.  I plan to present an opening argument if the judge allows (not all do).  For those unfamiliar with Immigration Court, these are bench trials in the nature of evidentiary hearings before an administrative judge.  These hearings are usually just a few hours long, and there is a DHS ICE lawyer who will require the asylum-seeker to meet his or her burden of proof of eligibility.  I am posting my draft opening argument because it illustrates many of the reasons I am so proud to participate in the asylum process.  Asylum is truly an example of America’s greatness.  It will be something like the following:

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