Immigration Lawyers: Undercut by – Immigrant Competition!
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The latest National Data report on from Edwin Rubenstein provides statistical support for the proposition that private immigration lawyers are led by a bunch of political zealots  better at shooting their group in the foot professionally than profitably practicing law.

Rubenstein cites several reasons for the relative financial underachievement of the American Immigration Lawyers Association's (AILA) members.   AILA's non-corporate clients are poor, aliens don't really need expensive lawyers much, and there are countless federal and state agencies —not to mention the private sector banks, mortgage companies, and health care outfits — that will trip over themselves to help illegal aliens at every turn.

In addition, illegal aliens are frequently better off remaining illegal if they do not have an avenue available to file a petition for adjustment of status to permanent residence.  Most, if not all, of these folks were smoked "out of the shadows" by the last Section 245(i) amnesty bonanza. 

Those illegal aliens who do not have immigrant petitions on the horizon can just wait it out for the next amnesty.  And if the Bush Betrayal doesn't come through anytime soon, they can always accumulate time —ten years as an illegal alien in the U.S., that is —in order to apply for the current rolling amnesty for all under Section 240A(b) of the Immigration Act.

But I have another theory explaining Rubenstein's immigration attorney salary numbers. 

It's the same reason why just about every other job class in America is facing an assault of low-wage competition —immigration!

In a nutshell, immigration law is a hotbed of "diversity."  The "cheap labor" competition that AILA faces from the bottom of the barrel of the legal profession, licensed and unlicensed, has a definite immigrant flavor.

AILA attorneys, even though card-carrying handmaidens of the Treason Lobby, are in a constant battle of wage competition against sleazy lawyers, ethnic fixers, resident aliens, fraudsters and "notarios" —Spanish-speaking notary publics or even income tax preparers —that are actually doing the jobs that American immigration lawyers won't do!

The AILA 2003 salary table tells the story.

Here are the driving forces:

  • Sleazy lawyers —The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) can barely keep up in publishing its disciplinary releases of all the immigration attorneys that are constantly getting kicked out of Immigration Court practice, or are otherwise losing their bar licenses.  Honest attorneys practicing immigration law are under constant fee pressure from their more ethically-challenged counterparts.

  • Accredited representatives —These officially "approved" non-lawyers are actually allowed to practice immigration law before the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security on a regular basis.  I pointed out this unusual situation last May].

  • Ethnic "fixers" — Lawful permanent resident aliens and naturalized citizens with cultural and language ties to particular immigrant groups can quickly become the local "go-to" guy (or gal) on immigration.  Whether they are actually licensed to practice immigration law is immaterial.

  • Renegade lawyers — One of the Treason Lobby's worst nightmare scenarios is that of a "notario" (a bandit lawyer) charging an illegal alien for the privilege of being brought to the attention of the federal immigration bureaucracy before it's time (too early, that is).  The alien might actually get deported then —perish the thought!

But instead of being upset about "notarios" entangling unwitting aliens in the EOIR litigation bureaucracy prematurely, AILA's energy might be better spent toward actually cleaning up their little corner of the legal profession.

Then they might finally realize that the massive, uncontrolled immigration that they love so much is actually degrading the quality of their livelihood too.

Juan Mann [send him email] is a lawyer and the proprietor of

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