NDPA NEWS: Even In Times Of Systemic Dysfunction, Fairness, Scholarship, Timeliness, Respect, & Teamwork Among Conscientious Immigration Judges, Fair-Minded ICE Assistant Chief Counsel, & Caring, Well-Prepared Advocates From the NDPA Continue to Save Lives of the Most Vulnerable Among Us! — “I don’t know how much longer I’ll be alive, but my children will always thank you,” Says Critically Ill Respondent to Arlington Immigration Judge Cynthia S. Torg, Who Had Just Granted Her Asylum!
NDPA stalwart (and former Arlington Immigration Court Intern) Professor Paulina Vera reports:
The above is what our client said to Immigration Judge Cynthia S. Torg after she granted her asylum claim this afternoon. A-A-‘s husband was politically involved in their home country of Venezuela, actively protesting against Nicolas Maduro. Because of his political involvement, both A-A- and their 11-year-old son were targeted by security forces and threatened with their lives should the political opposition continue. Additionally, A-A- has been diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer and feared that she would not be able to get medical treatments in her home country due to a shortage of medical supplies there.
After a 15 minute hearing, the Immigration Judge (IJ) agreed to grant relief, which the trial attorney did not oppose. Both the IJ and trial attorney commended student-attorney, Halima Nur, JD ‘20, for her preparation. The IJ commented that because of the amount of documentation and the legal arguments presented, she was able to issue a decision quickly. In addition to their 11-year-old son, the couple has a 1.5 year old son, who was born in the United States. With this grant, the family will remain together in the U.S.
Please join me in congratulating Halima Nur, JD ‘20, and Madeleine Delurey, JD ‘20, for all their hard work on the case.
Paulina Vera, Esq.
Acting Director, GW Law Immigration Clinic (Academic Year 2019-2020)
Legal Associate, Immigration Clinic
Professorial Lecturer in Law
These are the moments that everyone, judges, lawyers, interpreters, respondents, families, “live for” in Immigration Court. It’s what “kept me going” for 13 years on the trial bench. “Building America, one case at a time,” I used to say!
Thanks for all that you and your students do for Due Process and our system of Justice, Paulina! Also, this isn’t the first time that Judge Torg’s name has come up in connection with saving lives in Immigration Court. https://immigrationcourtside.com/2018/11/28/heres-what-the-dishonest-scofflaw-officials-in-the-trump-administration-dont-want-you-to-know-many-who-escape-from-the-northern-triangle-are-in-fact-refugees-when-they-are-give/
This report also raises a point that I made in one of yesterday’s posts, echoed by my good friend retired Judge Gus Villageliu in his comments: Encouraging parties to work together to “pre-try” and bring well-documented “grant cases” forward on crowded dockets for short hearings is a great “judicial efficiency measure” that actually advances rather than inhibits, systemic Due Process and efficiency.https://immigrationcourtside.com/2020/02/24/killer-on-the-road-emboldened-by-the-complicity-of-the-roberts-court-gop-abdication-of-legislative-oversight-breakdown-of-democratic-institut/
It’s the “polar opposite” of the “haste makes waste gimmicks” that unqualified politicos and administrators who don’t handle regular dockets have forced on judges and parties in a system where “docket control” has effectively been disconnected from its proper objectives of achieving due process and fundamental fairness.
Unfortunately, as Miller and the restrictionists seek to farther skew the regulations to screw asylum seekers, just results like this are likely to be even harder to achieve. That means that more and more asylum applicants will have to appeal to the Article III Courts, flawed as they have become, for any chance whatsoever of achieving a fair and unbiased outcome. I also discussed this unhappy likely future development in my post at the preceding link.
Thanks again to Judge Torg, the ICE Assistant Chief Counsel, Paulina, and GW Clinic Student Attorneys Halima Nur, JD ‘20, and Madeleine Delurey, JD ‘20, for being inspiring examples of how the Immigration Court system could work to achieve “due process and fundamental fairness with efficiency” under “different management” and an “independent structure” in the future.
Due Process Forever!