This is the first part of a 4 part article which will run from Tuesday to Friday of this week. Tomorrow's installment will discuss the "Citizenship Promotion Act of 2007" and its proposal to restrict U.S.C.I.S. fee hikes and FBI name checks. Parts 3 and 4 will deal with the right of asylee derivatives to travel back to their homelands and new hope for the Dream Act respectively.

By Alan Lee, Esq.

Part I - In Support of I J Chase

In our view, Immigration Judge Jeffrey Chase of the New York Executive Office for Immigration Review has been pilloried enough and should be allowed to return to the bench very shortly if he has the desire to do so. According to the New York Times of March 13, 2007, he has been relieved of his courtroom duties and reassigned to a desk job following a rebuke by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals last year and its recent recommendation that the Board of Immigration Appeals scrutinize all of his decisions which are pending on appeal. At issue was his perceived hostility to asylum cases, and in one case a plethora of errors and omissions. Judge Chase may have gone overboard on some of his cases, but his record of decisions in asylum cases has been in line and even more generous than the national average. The TRAC immigration project, a non-partisan and independent organization supported by the JEHT Foundation, Ford Foundation and Syracuse University which attempts to discover detailed information from the government and make it available to Congress and the public, has posted statistics on immigration judge asylum approvals and denials nationwide from 2000 to the early months of 2005, and noted a national grant average of 38.1 %. In that period, Judge Chase's grant rate was 42%. That information shows that aliens with asylum cases before Judge Chase have had a true shot at being granted asylum. This contrasts with other New York judges with approval rates of 9.6%, 4.1% and 5.7% during that same period of time. I would personally rather sit with my clients in front of a judge who may throw fits but is capable of adjudicating along Judge Chase's line than before one who is polite and mannered but has such an awful record against approving asylum cases. From my personal experience in litigating cases before Judge Chase, he is an effective judge who has exhibited impartiality, paid attention to proceedings, is obviously very bright, and has even suggested solutions favorable to the alien when available. His pet peeve appears to be cases in which he believes that the aliens before him are still being helped by smugglers and the unlicensed consultants who provide them with false stories for asylum claims. While the occasions on which he has not controlled himself cannot be condoned, he has from all reports learned his lesson and should soon be allowed return to the bench.


The author is a 26+ year practitioner of immigration law based in New York City. He was awarded the Sidney A. Levine prize for best legal writing at the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 1977 and has written extensively on immigration over the past years for the ethnic newspapers, World Journal, Sing Tao, Pakistan Calling, Muhasha and OCS. He has testified as an expert on immigration in civil court proceedings and was recognized by the Taiwan government in 1985 for his work protecting human rights. His article, "The Bush Temporary Worker Proposal and Comparative Pending Legislation: an Analysis" was Interpreter Releases' cover display article at the American Immigration Lawyers Association annual conference in 2004, and his victory in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in a case of first impression nationwide, Firstland International v. INS, successfully challenged INS' policy of over 40 years of revoking approved immigrant visa petitions under a nebulous standard of proof. Its value as precedent, however, was short-lived as it was specifically targeted by the Administration in the Intelligence Reform Act of 2004.

This article 2007 Alan Lee, Esq.


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