- United States
Immigration lawyers have shown disappointment at the advice that Illinois Senator Durbin gave to several young undocumented immigrants in a video on internet, which was later removed from the website. A recently uploaded video on an internet website showed Sen. Durbin and House Rep. Luis Guiterrez promoting DREAM relief day, a workshop which would help young illegal immigrants in completing all necessary requirements to apply for President Obama’s deferred deportation program.
In the video, Sen. Durbin was shown advising young immigrants that they mustn’t hire lawyers or go to a notario for assistance on the matter.
“Do not hire a lawyer or pay a notario,” Durbin stated in the video, “… Virtually everyone will be able to go through the process without a lawyer.”
These statements came as a shock to immigration lawyers all over the United States. The Lawyers started claiming that the Senator was developing permanent mistrust inside these undocumented young immigrants for immigration lawyers.
Lory Rosenberg, a prominent immigration lawyer, said that he was personally ‘Disturbed’ to see the video. He said that where he had utmost respect for the efforts and the intentions of the Senator, he thought that Durbin should have been more responsible while giving advice to people.
Rosenberg said that consulting a registered, knowledgeable and ethical lawyer was most important to ensure a safe future for these illegal immigrants. He said that such statements were creating confusion among these immigrants between licensed immigration lawyers and notaries.
Lawyers from all over the country have been responding to the Senator’s statements, through e-mails, personal blogs and public statements.
Bryan S. Johnson, a New York immigration attorney, said that these statements have created a very static image of lawyers for people.
“I have had two people come to my office,” Johnson said, “for consultations regarding deferred action. I discovered that these individuals were eligible for a better form of relief, permanent residency through classification as a special immigrant juvenile. A red flag is if an attorney puts pressure on a DREAMer to apply for deferred action. A DREAMer should be explained the benefits and risks of applying and not pressured one way or the other.”
Johnson said that he wasn’t the only one who had assisted clients with cases like this. Immigration lawyers throughout America were experiencing similar possible alternatives. He said that another law office had a client asking for assistance in the deferred deportation procedure. After thoroughly studying his case, the immigration lawyer told the client that he did not require applying for deferred deportation for he was already a U.S citizen as his father had naturalized when the client was a minor.
Johnson said that cases like these show that creating a view that deferred deportation is the only answer and no other consultations are required is wrong and injustice to the young illegal immigrants.
Although the lawyers did acknowledge that all possible measures must be taken by the undocumented immigrants to ensure that they are not falling for a scam, they insisted that the immigrants must not be made to confuse licensed lawyers for scammers. They also urged the U.S immigration department to come forward and responsibly guide the immigrant youth in this regard.
Tags: Deferred Deportation Program, DREAMers, Illegal immigrants, Immigration, immigration layers, Obama’s deferred deportation program, undocumented immigrants, United States, US Immigration