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Loose Rules in Immigration Court

President Obama’s Uncle, who is in deportation proceedings, was just granted a new hearing by the Board of Immigration Appeals who opined that he did not receive competent representation of legal counsel during his removal proceedings hearing. In an OP/ED piece appearing in the Washington Post the author offers that while it may appear that President Obama’s Uncle is receiving preferred treatment, the fact of the matter is that the rules of procedure in Immigration Court are fast and loose.

As a former U.S. Immigration Prosecutor and now private attorney representing people in deportation and removal proceedings, I can attest to the fact that the rules in immigration court are far different than in “regular court”. The rules of evidence which govern what lawyers can do and what can be considered by an Immigration Judge are extremely relaxed mostly to the detriment of the person facing deportation.

As comprehensive immigration reform is considered this year, one of the important items to consider is tightening up the rules as it pertains to the rules of evidence. This may require working with the Department of Justice under which the Executive Office for Immigration Review (Immigration Court) is housed.

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