Why As an Immigration Law Firm We’re Hesitant on the Immigration Reform Proposals


As an immigration law firm, we support comprehensive immigration reform. However, the current immigration reform proposals under discussion do not address some of the key issues that need to be resolved in order to truly reform immigration in the United States. The legislative proposals being discussed are heavy on ideology and light on facts, skirting important aspects of the system, such as the appeals court, that need to be change. They do not address the underlying issues with the system, and seem to be attempting to patch it up instead of implementing a full overhaul.

Why Our Immigration Law Firm Is Hesitant About This Immigration Reform

Number of Government Agencies Involved

We say that ‘too many cooks spoil the broth,’ and this might be an appropriate saying for the current immigration system as well. There are simply too many government agencies involved with immigration, which makes for a very complicated and confusing system.

Just under the mantle of the US Department of Homeland Security, there are three agencies with different directives: US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS); Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Add to that the U. S. Department of State (charged with overseeing the U.S. embassies and consulates), the U.S. Department of Justice (governs the Executive Office of Immigration Review), and the U.S. Department of Labor (which ensures US immigration laws do not compromise fair labor standards). While unavoidable, a multi-agency endeavor leads to our second concern that doesn’t seem to be addressed by current legislation- the lack of accountability.

Lack of Accountability

As an immigration law firm, we work with all of the US Government agencies involved and we see a lack of accountability as being a major problem in the system. A prime example is the U.S. Embassy, whose consular officers’ decisions are not subject to appeal or judicial review. Another example is the fact that an appeal from an immigration judge’s decision can literally take years. Since there are so many agencies involved it’s easy to point fingers when something goes wrong and hard to take responsibility for cracks in the system.

Issues Related to Processing and Information Sharing

Put simply, the manner in which cases flow through the immigration system must be fixed. There needs to be consistency in adjudications and predictability in adjudicatory decisions at every level. Interminable delays should not be tolerated and appeals should not take years. The government agencies involved need to work together and share information. These suggestions could be the starting points to what would be a top-to-bottom overhaul. Only when changes are made to address these key areas of concern will true and comprehensive immigration reform happen.

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