Judge Richard Posner supported a Chicago cab driver’s bid to remain in the United States in a dissent last week that left few in the immigration process unscathed.
… “There are some first-rate immigration lawyers, especially at law schools that have clinical programs in immigration law, but on the whole the bar that defends immigrants in deportation proceedings … is weak—inevitably, because most such immigrants are impecunious and there is no government funding for their lawyers.“
… Posner, of the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, blasted the Department of Homeland Security for its eagerness to challenge cab driver Mohamed Bouras’ marriage to a U.S. citizen as a sham “on such flimsy evidence.”
He criticized the immigration judge and the Board of Immigration Appeals for “some downright silly remarks,” including an observation that the couple had not commingled assets. “Not all married couples do,” Posner wrote, “and it is doubtful that Bouras has ever had any significant assets.”
“What is true, and has turned out to be fatal for Bouras—though it should not have been—is that his lawyer was lackluster,” Posner wrote. “He didn’t notify the immigration judge promptly that [the ex-wife] would not appear. He did not suggest a telephonic alternative to her appearing at the hearing in person. He did not try to subpoena her.
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