ILW.COM - the immigration portal Immigration Daily

< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

The Complexity Of Immigration Law

by Michele Kim

Editor's Note: Here are notable quotes which reflect the complexity of immigration law. Thanks to the immigration bar for bringing these quotes to our attention. We hope this article shows the value of the services immigration attorneys provide on behalf of their clients and is a useful response to the oft asked question, "Why do I need an immigration attorney?"

"...we are in the never-never land of the Immigration and Nationality Act, where plain words do not always mean what they say." Yuen Sang Low v. Attorney General, 479 F.2nd 820 (9th Cir. 1973)
"We have had occasion to note the striking resemblance between some of the laws we are called upon to interpret and King Minos's labyrinth in ancient Crete. The Tax Laws and the Immigration and Nationality Acts are examples we have cited of Congress's ingenuity in passing statutes certain to accelerate the aging process of judges. In this instance, Congress, pursuant to its virtually unfettered power to exclude or deport natives of other countries, and apparently confident of the aphorism that human skill, properly applied, can resolve any enigma that human inventiveness can create, has enacted a baffling skein of provisions for the I.N.S. and courts to disentangle. The fate of the alien faced with imminent deportation often hinges upon narrow issues of statutory interpretation. The instant petition, which requires us to determine whether the petitioner is ineligible for the discretionary relief afforded by Section 212(c) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. s 1182(c), because he has not accumulated seven years of residence in this country since his admission to permanent resident alien status, is no exception. Emboldened by Thesean courage and fortified by a close examination of the statutory language, we believe that the Board of Immigration appeals erred in denying the petitioner relief on the ground that it did, and remand for consideration on a proper basis." Tim Lok v. INS, 548 F.2nd 37 (2nd Cir. 1977).
"In its brief the INS states "the public, of course, has a right to obtain guidance from the regulations for its dealings with the Service." We devoutly hope the INS and those who draft the regulations and Operations Instructions under which it operates will take this statement to heart. Whatever guidance the regulations furnish to those cognoscenti familiar with INS procedures, this court, despite many years of legal experience, finds that they yield up meaning only grudgingly and that morsels of comprehension must be pried from mollusks of jargon. There is nothing esoteric about the subject matter. The regulations concern simple matters of great concern to human beings, most of them of limited education. They should be so written as to be comprehensible by intelligent laymen and unspecialized lawyers without the aid of both lexicon and inner-circle guide." Kwon v. INS, 646 F.2nd 909 (5th Cir. 1981)
"It would seem that should be a simple issue with a clear answer, but this is immigration law where the issues are seldom simple and the answers are far from clear." Alanis-Bustamante v. Reno 201 F.34d 1303 (11th Cir. 2000)
"...this case vividly illustrates the labyrinthine character of modern immigration law-a maze of hyper-technical statutes and regulations that engender waste, delay and confusion for the government and petitioners alike. The inscrutability of the current immigration law system, and the interplay of the numerous amendments and alterations to that system by congress during the pendency of this case, have spawned years of litigation, generated two separate opinions by the district court, and consumed significant resources of the court. With regret and astonishment, we determine, as explained more fully below, that this case still cannot be decide definitively but must be remanded to the district court and then to the board of immigration appeals ("bia") for further proceedings. Drax v. Reno 338 F. 3d 98, 99-100 (2d Cir. 2003).

About The Author

Michele Kim is the legal editor of Immigration Daily and ILW.COM. Is there a notable immigration quote that is missing from this Article? Send your quote to Additional quotes will be added to this Article and an updated version will appear in Immigration Daily.

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.