Part 2: (In)Voluntary Statements of Visa Applicants at the US Consular Posts in India – Are US Consular Officers Engaging in Unethical and Unlawful Conduct?

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The first indicator of the questionable nature of these Voluntary Statements are the lengths to which consular officers go to obstruct their disclosure to the visa applicant. As a general rule and enshrined by Section 222(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, visa records are considered confidential and not subject to disclosure. However, there is an exception for documentation submitted by the applicant; such documents are subject to disclosure. In the case of the Voluntary Statements in India, the consular officer does not give a copy to the applicant at the conclusion of the interview.  This, notwithstanding the draconian visa consequences and criminal liability that the applicant has been exposed to by signing the Voluntary Statement. The consular officer’s “Bible”, the Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM), makes it abundantly clear that these statements are releasable to the applicant: 2. d. (U) Documents Releasable to Applicant: The documents listed below are deemed…

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Expedited Removal – A One Way Ticket Back Home

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As immigration enforcement ramps up, with more scrutiny and rigor exhibited by the government agencies involved (ICE, USCIS, DOS), one should not forget the role played by Customs and Border Patrol. Because they may have a visa, people tend to forget or underestimate the role played by the airport inspectors.  Those arriving at an airport are considered “applicants” for entry, and they are only admitted after the CBP inspector makes a decision on admissibility. Just like the other agencies, CBP has also heard the call for more vigorous enforcement of our laws, and is now actively engaged in screening out “undesirables” and visa violators.   Now that the government is much more interconnected than it was even 3-5 years ago, this means that the CBP inspector has access to information contained in visa applications and petitions. Another section of our website discusses in more detail the process of expedited removal, but…

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Visa Myths

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Every day in my practice I encounter erroneous information and false facts. With a view towards dispelling this misinformation, I am introducing a series of blogs to discuss some of the most popular visa myths.  I hope the reader finds the information insightful, and welcome your feedback.

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How the Department of State Empowers Extortionists and Miscreants

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http://www.ilw.com/articles/2012,0424-white.shtm

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FAQ and Letter to Plaintiffs

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Thank you for your questions. On Sunday or Monday we will be posting a FAQ about the decision and potential future actions. In addition, we will be sending to named plaintiffs a letter. Thank you for your patience.

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Press Release

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Attached is a brief statement on the court’s decision.

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Court’s Decision

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I am sorry to say that the Court has ruled against us.  I will have more commentary later, but I thought it important to post this news to all of you as soon as possible. Attached is the court order and decision. My heart goes out to all of you.

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Hearing and Decision

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Thank you to those who attended the hearing today. The hearing allowed for an airing and narrowing of the issues. We anticipate a decision before Friday. We will keep you posted.

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Moneybookers and Donations

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To all of you wishing to donate via Moneybookers, we have set up an account for your donations.  Here is the link on our site: http://www.visarefusal.com/donations/ Thank you to all of you who have donated to the cause. I have tried to send a personal note to all of you who have.  While I am handling this pro bono, other legal support, travel, and court-related expenses costs money, so your assistance in defraying these costs is most welcomed.

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Attending the Court Hearing

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For those of you interested in attending the court hearing on Tuesday at 10 a.m., the court is located at 333 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 2001.  This link has a map: http://www.dcd.uscourts.gov/dcd/location We of course welcome your attendance and support!  

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Co-Counsel

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I am happy to report that Michael Piston, an excellent immigration lawyer with 25 years of experience, has joined our team as co-counsel. Michael has been providing me with invaluable legal support throughout this effort, and I am very grateful that he will be able to join me at the hearing on Tuesday. Michael and I are focusing our efforts on preparing for the hearing, so there is no need to call with best wishes.  We feel your support over the miles.  Thank you.

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DV-2012 – Random Results

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Here is a nice short video explaining how the DV-2012 results were random: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ak0Xm82drhE

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Press release: Filing of requests for preliminary injunction and class certification

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Please see the attached press release Thank you again for all of your support!

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Preliminary Injunction/Class Certification

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We have applied to the Court for a preliminary injunction and moved for certification of the class.  We will be posting a press release very soon providing more details.

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