Daniel M.Pell:
Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why do I need an attorney in immigration proceedings?

There are few laws more complex than immigration Laws of the United States.

Not only is the law complex, but the procedures to follow before Immigration Judges is also quite complex. In addition to the complex laws, complex procedures, there is also the fact that a number of written applications often need to be filed as well as supporting documents. These forms must be filled out with precision and accurate information. In addition, the government is represented in all immigration proceedings by attorneys, variously called Trial Attorneys or Assistant Chief Counsel, who aggressively present the government’s case.

2. Do I need an attorney for an affirmative asylum applications?

Usually, the answer is YES. An affirmative asylum application is one that is filed with USCIS(United States Citzienship and Immigration Services) before the person has been arrested or charged with being in the U.S. illegally. It must usually be
filed within one(1) year of the person arriving on U.S. soil. The reason you need an attorney is that you must carefully complete the Application for Asylum and submit
it to the Regional Service Center for USCIS(United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) with authority over the place where you reside. After the application is filed, you must attend one or more interviews, and bring your own interpreter. The interviews can be quite aggressive as asylum officers try to ‘weed
out’ false claims and claims lacking proof. Having an attorney to guide you through the process is important.

3. Do I need an attorney to file visa applications for immigrant or non-immigrant Categories?

You can represent yourself in any immigration proceeding, including applications for visas. The question is whether you will be able to correctly fill out and document the applications under the law and regulations. For most people, having a professional assist them is critical to their obtaining approval of their visa application, whether family or work based.

4. If I am not granted asylum at the initial interview at the Regional Asylum Center, what is the next step?

Your case will be referred to an Immigration Judge for determination, where you are entitled to represent yourself. However, as stated elsewhere, the government has aggressive attorneys, called Trial Attorneys or Assistant Chief Counsel, whose job it is, is to remove/deport you from the United States. Government counsel are professionally skilled and specially trained in these proceedings, and the average person is no match for them in the Immigration Courtroom.

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