Immigration Lawyers in Uncertain Times

April 20, 2015 4:27 am
by David Jakeman

It can be difficult for an immigration attorney to give their clients good advice, and no, it’s not because law school does little to prepare you for what it takes to actually practice law. No, it’s more because immigration lawyers have no idea whether or not Congress will get their act together to pass immigration reform. Throw in the fact that federal courts can step in and block or delay presidential orders, and you get a gelatinous mess of uncertainty.

Obama’s Immigration Action

Such uncertainty is challenging for undocumented immigrants looking for a possible way forward. As recent events show, what may appear promising one moment can just as easily lead to disappointment and frustration the next. It is in this climate that immigration lawyers have to provide their clients with the best advice and encouragement without being overly optimistic.
Take the recent action by President Obama that sought to provide a way forward for millions of undocumented immigrants. Obama’s actions would have provided the possibility for legal protections and work visas. Just as it was about to take effect, a federal judge in Texas filed an injunction, and many undocumented immigrants are still on the outside looking in.

Immigrant in Albuquerque’s reaction

This uncertainty has impacted real lives and individuals. One such person is Ingrid Ordonez, who was brought to the United States by her parents. She would have been protected by Obama’s immigration action had it not been stalled. She explains that they came to the United States, but after living here, things flared up in Mexico and it was too dangerous to go back home.
Ordonez is a young college student looking to contribute as a social worker. She is frustrated with politicians playing political football with immigration and the instability that has brought into her life. She would like to be able to focus on making a contribution back to the place where she grew up, but the continual uncertainty can make it very challenging.1 Despite the injunction, many are hopeful that Obama’s action will be upheld. New Mexico’s attorney has also filed a brief in support of the president.

What to Do While in Limbo

But what is an Albuquerque immigration attorney supposed to tell a client like this? Just keep being patient? Unfortunately that’s about all many undocumented immigrants can do at this point. It’s up to their attorneys to provide them with sound advice as well as hopeful encouragement. This is something that is made much more difficult with a volatile and unpredictable Congress.

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