Blog – Quiroga Law Office, PLLC https://www.quirogalawoffice.com We Protect Immigrants Like Ourselves! Wed, 20 Feb 2019 12:33:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.0.3 https://www.quirogalawoffice.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/cropped-cropped-logo-1-32x32.png Blog – Quiroga Law Office, PLLC https://www.quirogalawoffice.com 32 32 The First Exclusion https://www.quirogalawoffice.com/the-first-exclusion/ Tue, 19 Feb 2019 22:41:45 +0000 https://www.quirogalawoffice.com/?p=9358 They ‘swarm’ out of the mountains, ‘devour’ our resources, bring disease and crime, take ‘jobs from Americans’, they are ‘invading,’ they will never ‘assimilate’ with ‘regular Americans.’ […]

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They ‘swarm’ out of the mountains, ‘devour’ our resources, bring disease and crime, take ‘jobs from Americans’, they are ‘invading,’ they will never ‘assimilate’ with ‘regular Americans.’

You may recognize these terms – certainly the verbs – from today’s front pages and social media.

But, they’re not. They’re from the newspapers – and Congressional records – of the 1870’s and ’80’s. They were directed at Chinese Immigrants.

By the 1870’s Chinese immigrants had gone a grand total of 40 – total – in the United States on the 1840 census to 300,000. Unsurprisingly, they stayed on the West Coast and over a very short time they were instrumental in the development of California’s agriculture and fishing industries.

But not without conflict.

When you come down to it, everyone who came to California after 1848 was an immigrant. California was a part of Mexico until ceded to the U.S. in 1849 after the Mexican War. American citizens and recent European immigrants flooded into the new state when gold was discovered in Northern California in 1849.

The Chinese were banned from the gold fields, but quickly turned to working and operating the restaurants, hotels, laundries, and other necessities that supported the miners. They were integral to the success of the gold rush and the development of San Francisco but they were never accepted by the others.

In the 1860s Chinese immigrants – thousands of them – were instrumental in building the First Transcontinental Railway. While Irish immigrants and Civil War veterans built west, the Chinese built east, through and over the Sierra Nevadas.

For about $3 a day – for which they were docked food and lodging – Chinese immigrants built bridges, dug tunnels through solid rock, constructed road beds on steep inclines and steeper declines, through wind, rain, and snow storms that dumped two, three feet of snow at once on them, to help build one of the greatest engineering feats in American history.

The Chinese were recognized for their work ethic nationwide when the railroad was completed. Ironically, that recognition hurt them.

Chinese workers became sought after in the U.S. after the completion of the railroad. They were brought east by the thousands to work in textile mills and shoe factories and foundries. They were considered great workers. Great, cheap workers.

The presence of ‘Chinatowns’ in Boston, New York, Philadelphia and other Eastern cities is testimony to that brief time when Chinese immigrants were welcomed by industrialists nationwide.

It didn’t last long. There were a series of economic disasters in the U.S. in the 1870s and vast numbers of ‘Americans’ became unemployed . . . while Chinese immigrants – always much cheaper to employ – did not. “Chinese Must Go!” became the rallying cry of the nativist political parties that popped up all over the country.

Despite many setbacks in the federal courts over years, the nativists finally got what they wanted with the passing of the Chinese Exclusion Act, signed into law by Chester A. Arthur in 1882. The act slammed the door on Chinese immigration and banned Chinese immigrants in the U.S. from applying for citizenship.

The Act was to run for ten years, it was renewed for another ten in 1892 at the beginning of another depression, it was made permanent in 1902. It was not repealed until 1943 when China was an ally in the war against Japan.

The net effects of this ban are the kind of things every presidential administration since Arthur need to be aware of: it further exacerbated an already bad economy by restricting the influx of workers – good workers – who would do jobs ‘no self respecting American would’. It cut tax revenues from wherever the Chinese had settled. It was self-fulfilling in that since the Chinese could not become citizens, they did not assimilate anywhere near the rate of other immigrants. The Chinese were persecuted, viciously at times.

And, the ban on Chinese immigration had a hugely negative impact on our relationship with China at a time when a good relationship would have done enormous good, good that could have reverberated well into the 20th Century.

The Chinese Exclusion Act was and is a warning – a lesson to be learned and not repeated – about what the unintended consequences of an immigration ban.

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21 Savage and You. https://www.quirogalawoffice.com/21-savage-and-you/ Mon, 11 Feb 2019 21:50:50 +0000 https://www.quirogalawoffice.com/?p=9230 The rapper 21 Savage is up for Record of the Year at the Grammys this year but, barring a miracle of sorts, won’t be there, he’s sitting […]

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The rapper 21 Savage is up for Record of the Year at the Grammys this year but, barring a miracle of sorts, won’t be there, he’s sitting in twenty-three hour a day lockup in an immigration detention center in Georgia.

The story of 21 Savage’s arrest and detention – the one that emerged after the ‘official’ ICE statement – should concern everyone with any kind of immigration status in the United States.

Yes, that’s a very troubling and very broad statement. It’s also true, here’s why:

When 21 Savage (his real name is She’yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph) was arrested not long after a pre-Super Bowl concert he gave in Atlanta, ICE stated the following: Abraham-Joseph was a British citizen who came to the U.S. at age 14, overstayed his Visa, had a conviction for drug possession, and, that his “whole public persona is false.” The ICE statement went on to leave the distinct impression 21 Savage had been dodging them for years and had been, at some point, facing deportation.

Almost none of that was true.

Abraham-Joseph was brought to the United States by his parents when he was 7. He’s was and is a DACA kid. He has no criminal record. He never previously face deportation. He never hid from ICE, as a matter of fact he has a team of immigration attorneys who applied for a U Visa for him in 2017. ICE and the courts certainly knew where he lived.

And, about the ‘false public persona’: Ice T, Childish Gambino, Jay Z, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Nas, Eminem … it’s part of the culture.

Then, of course, there is the fact – for those of you who do not follow rap or hip-hop – that 21 Savage is famous. He’s a star. He is incredibly easy to find on any given day, anywhere. He was a headliner at the Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest / EA Sports Bowl Welcome to Atlanta Super Bowl weekend kickoff concert attended by thousands and covered by every media outlet.

Failing that, ICE could easily have walked up to him on any given day as he was working with one of his three Atlanta based charities. Perhaps the one that helps underprivileged kids learn financial literacy. Or the Issa Back 2 School Drive that gives out backpacks, shoes, uniforms, and school supplies to thousands of school kids every year. Or the one that encouraged kids to swap real guns for paintball guns and saw the shooting rates in Atlanta plummet.

21 Savage was easy to find.

So, why now?

His legal team – and Rolling Stone Magazine, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, and dozens others – “have speculated as to possible ulterior motives for his arrest and detention, including that he released music five days prior to his arrest by ICE, which included new lyrics condemning the behavior of immigration officials for their detention of children at the border.” 

Here’s part of those lyrics:

Been through some things but I can’t imagine my kids stuck at the border

 Flint still need water

People was innocent, couldn’t get lawyers.

Despite his fame and extremely close relationship to the city of Atlanta, Abraham-Joseph was denied bond at his first hearing.

The lesson here is simple and one we continually try to stress to the immigrant community – in this current political climate, please take every preventative measure you can, while keeping a low profile, to forestall any potential action down the road.

If you have the slightest question about your status, talk to us. Please.

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Difference and similarities among Hispanic and Latino https://www.quirogalawoffice.com/difference-and-similarities-among-hispanic-and-latino/ Fri, 08 Feb 2019 03:46:16 +0000 https://www.quirogalawoffice.com/?p=9200 Currently in the United States, the terms Hispanic and Latinare often considered racial categories and in the same way that white, black and Asian are also used. […]

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Currently in the United States, the terms Hispanic and Latinare often considered racial categories and in the same way that white, black and Asian are also used. However, the populations that are described are composed of several racial groups, so their use as racial categories are inaccurate. In result of that, the following article is developed with the aim of clarifying the doubts that the use of these two terms can make, in order to achieve their relations and differences.

Basic concepts

To begin with, they are important as identities for many communities, the development of the population, law enforcement, crime and punishment, which are use in many disciplines for the study of social trends, economic and political. For those reasons, it is important to understand what it literally mean are even forHispanic and Latin, and how those forms sometimes differ from how people use them socially. The terms Hispanic and Latinare often used interchangeably, although in reality they mean two different things. Hispanic refers to people who speak Spanish or describe the Spanish-speaking population, while Latin refers to people who are descendants of people from Latin America.

What does the Hispanic mean and where does it come from?

In a literal sense, Hispanic refers to people who speak Spanish or who describe the Spanish-speaking lineage. This word in English is translated into the Latin word Hispanic, it is said that it is used to refer to the people living in Hispania, the Iberian Peninsula in present-day Spain, during the Roman Empire. Since a Hispanic refers to a language of culture. This means that, as a category of identity, it is closer to the definition of ethnicity, which groups people based on a common shared culture. Nevertheless, people of different ethnicities can identify them self as Hispanic, so it is actually a broader ethnicity definition.

Partial uses of the themes

In the census, people self-report their answers and have the option to choose whether or not they are of Hispanic descent or if they wish to be counted under the category of Latino. The Census Bureau recognizes the Hispanic and Latinlanguages, the ethnic term and the ancestry in the geographic space, people can be a source of the racial categories, as well as the Hispanic origin when completing the form.

What does Latin mean and where does it come from?

Unlike the Hispanic that refers to language, Latin is the term that refers to geography. It is used to indicate that a person is or the offspring of people of Latin America. It is, in fact, an abbreviated form of the Latin American phrase, like Hispanics, it refers to race. Anyone from Central America, South America and the Caribbean can be described as Latino. Within that group, as within Hispanics, there are varieties of races. Latinos can be white, black, Native American, mestizo, mixed and even of Asian descent.

Non-exclusive terms

Latinos can also be Hispanic, but Hispanics are not necessarily Latinos. For example, people in Brazil are Latinos, but they are not Hispanic, since Portuguese, and not Spanish, is their native language. Similarly, people can be Hispanic, but not Latino, like people in Spain who also live or have an ancestry in Latin America.

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Why Everyone Should Be Concerned About What Happened to Mohanad Elshieky https://www.quirogalawoffice.com/why-everyone-should-be-concerned-about-what-happened-to-mohanad-elshieky/ Fri, 01 Feb 2019 23:43:09 +0000 https://www.quirogalawoffice.com/?p=8983 It’s a case that’s been all over the media – social and otherwise – throughout the Northwest for a week (now going National): legal resident and rising […]

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It’s a case that’s been all over the media – social and otherwise – throughout the Northwest for a week (now going National): legal resident and rising comedy star Mohanad Elshieky was pulled off a bus in Spokane while Border Patrol Agents checked his documents.

He was kept off the bus for a solid twenty minutes while agents checked his ‘documents,’ made calls to verify, questioned his very legal driver’s license and work papers. Mohanad Elshieky, by the way, escaped from Libya and was granted political asylum here last October.

Here is what he tweeted right after the incident:

This morning ICE agents got on my Greyhound bus that was headed from Spokane to Portland. They walked around before they asked me and few others to step outside and took my documents and interrogated me for around 20 mins then claimed my papers were fake and that I’m ‘illegal’.

I explained to them that I was granted Asylum here in the United States and that the work permit they currently hold and the license are impossible to get unless your presence here is legal. They told me that I was lying and these could pretty much be falsified.

He later corrected ICE to Border Patrol.

In retrospect, he was lucky the incident only lasted twenty minutes. And the rest of us are lucky he has a significant social media presence so his story spread.

Because while it’s hardly unique, few people are aware that this – being stopped to verify you are a legal resident of the United States – is widespread and has been going on for some time.

In this regard, newly granted asylum seeker Mohanad has a lot in common with the United States Senator from Vermont, Patrick Leahy. In 2008 he was driving through Vermont  75 miles from the Canadian border when he was forced to pull into a checkpoint run by the Border Patrol. He questioned the legality of the stop, and by what authority he was being detained.

The Border Patrol agent, “Patted his gun and he said ‘that’s all the authority I needed.’”

While inelegant, that Border Patrol agent was not wrong. Border patrol agents, by Congressional act, have ‘jurisdiction’ within 100 miles of our borders. Not just the borders with Mexico and Canada, but the Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf Coast waters

That means the Border Patrol has ‘jurisdiction’ over two-thirds of the American people.

“Okay,” you’re undoubtedly thinking, “but we’re protected by the Fourth Amendment from random and arbitrary stops and searches.”

You would be correct . . . except for when it comes to Border Control checkpoints, where things get a lot more gray. All because a 1976 US supreme court decision “gave agents limited authority to conduct brief stops, pose simple questions (such as “are you a US citizen” and “where are you going”) and ask to see documents to establish proof of legal presence in the US. For anything beyond this narrow purpose of determining citizenship there must be “reasonable suspicion” of unlawful activity.”

Mohanad was at the Spokane Intermodal Center some 93 miles from the Canadian border. Further than Senator Leahy was for his stop. Neither man argued with their agent, both provided IDs. The agent who stopped Leahy didn’t care that he was a US Senator (the longest serving member, by the way) and that should tell you all you need to know about being stopped by Border Patrol.

Leahy just introduced a bill to the Senate that would rollback the Border Patrol’s jurisdiction to within 25 miles of the border(s). In the current frenzy of ‘who’s tough and who’s not on immigration,’ passing that before 2020 seems a long shot.

In the meantime, if you’re a US citizen and you’re stopped, you grin, bear it, and answer through gritted teeth. If you’re a legal resident . . . well, in The Spokesman-Review on Tuesday Hector recommended they carry ‘all their paperwork’ to avoid such an incident. “A copy of the court order to have with them would be very important,” he added.

It’s a minor irritation – carting around all your paperwork – but until things are changed it will stop a much greater problem.

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An Immigrant in the Hall of Fame https://www.quirogalawoffice.com/an-immigrant-in-the-hall-of-fame/ Mon, 28 Jan 2019 18:43:03 +0000 https://www.quirogalawoffice.com/?p=8945 A 1990 immigrant to the United States just became the first player ever unanimously elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. That may seem like just the […]

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A 1990 immigrant to the United States just became the first player ever unanimously elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

That may seem like just the inevitable ending for one of the greatest pitchers of all time, but Mariano Rivera’s story certainly didn’t start out that way.

It started almost exactly like most immigrant stories.

Mariano Rivera was born in Panama and grew up primarily playing soccer in his poor, working class neighborhood. Baseball was a fun ‘mess around on the beach with friends’ activity. They had no equipment, played with cardboard milk cartons made into gloves, tree branches for bats, the balls were wadded up fishing nets wrapped in tape.

Rivera dropped out of school in 9th grade and went to work as a fisherman on his father’s sardine boat. He worked six days a week and played soccer in his spare time. He quit after a boat he was on capsized and an uncle died. He was forced to give up soccer after a series of ankle and knee injuries curtailed any possible career.

He played baseball on an amateur team, was a decent shortstop, but the major league scouts who occasionally tromped through Panama never gave him a glance.

Then a weird thing happened – his team’s pitcher was having a brutal outing in a playoff game and Mariano volunteered to take over in a game that was out of control. To give his team’s relief pitchers a break. He had never pitched before, in baseball this is known as ‘taking one for the team.’

He was electrifying. Because it was a playoff game, there were scouts in the stands – all there to watch other players. But they noticed Mariano instead.

He was on their radar.

It took a while – Mariano weighed 155 pounds soaking wet and threw a very pedestrian 85-87 mile per hour fastball – but a scout for the New York Yankees liked something about him and offered him a contract to come and pitch in the minor leagues. He signed for $2,000.

Mariano Rivera came to the United States in 1990 unable to speak a word of English, subsisted on about $15/day meal money and a tiny minor league salary, rode buses, stayed in fleabag motels, and . . . hung on.

For five years he pitched in every level of the minor leagues, usually in small towns, and went back to Panama in the off season. He started getting noticed about three years in, then had a serious arm injury requiring surgery. He worked hard through rehab and came back – and was terrible. So bad, he risked getting cut by the Yankee organization and shipped home.

He was twenty-five, considered too old to be a prospect and was a year removed serious arm surgery. There was very little incentive for the Yankees to keep him around. But they did. And, one day in a game in Columbus, Ohio mopping up in a Triple AAA game a  miraculous – so Mariano would claim from that day on – thing occurred: the skinny kid from Panama was throwing a 95-96 mph fastball.

He was up with the Yankees in the Bronx shortly after and the rest, as they say, is history,

At least baseball-wise. Mariano married his elementary school sweetheart and settled between New York and Panama. He mastered English and helped countless other Latin baseball players not only learn English but adapt to living in the United States. He has helped countless sports journalists learn Spanish so they can communicate more effectively with Latin players.

Mariano became a U.S. citizen in 2015. He owns restaurants and car dealerships in New York. He’s opened a church near his home in Westchester County, NY.  The Mariano Rivera Foundation provides underprivileged children in Panama, Florida, and New York with an education. He is intimately involved with his community in New York and runs annual fundraisers for the local hospital and has established a scholarship fund for the local college.

Mariano Rivera came to this country as shaky, unsure, and overwhelmed as a great many immigrants. He fought through adversity. At first he survived. Then he thrived. Then he gave back. And he continues to give back as a new citizen.

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Behind the Curtain (of Immigration News) https://www.quirogalawoffice.com/behind-the-curtain-of-immigration-news/ Sat, 19 Jan 2019 00:06:09 +0000 https://www.quirogalawoffice.com/?p=8903 Throughout 2018, the media was filled with sensational immigration news – justifiably so – almost all day, everyday. Travel bans, border walls, immigrant caravans, ‘illegal’ immigrants, non-stop. […]

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Throughout 2018, the media was filled with sensational immigration news – justifiably so – almost all day, everyday. Travel bans, border walls, immigrant caravans, ‘illegal’ immigrants, non-stop.

Important issues, to be sure, but they all tended to obscure not only what’s really going on with immigration away from the borders and airports, but what changes have been made that effect – and continue to effect – people who are in the United States completely legally.

It’s a case of the man behind the curtain. Remember The Wizard of Oz when Toto reveals that (spoiler alert) the Grand Wizard of Oz is really controlled by a man? He’s hidden in a little room and he’s pulling all the levers that make the Wizard roar and snort flame and smoke.

Well, this is exactly what’s happening with immigration news. People are focusing on children being separated from parents at the border and other horrible events and they are missing what’s happening in the rest of the country. Things that are being orchestrated by men in the Trump administration.

Because, the men behind the curtain are slowly but surely picking away at legal immigrants. They are so anti-immigrant “they are going to go after anybody they can get their hands on who may be deportable,” in the words of Michael Kaufman, a senior staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union in an interview in the LA Times.

The Trump administration views who ‘may be deportable’ as widely as possible. They have been detaining legal residents who had misdemeanor arrests years ago. In one case, almost twenty years back. Misdemeanor offenses that wouldn’t stop a legal resident from becoming a naturalized citizen are resulting in detention and deportation hearings.

This is, really, picking at low-hanging fruit – the Trump administration wants more deportations, computers make checking criminal records easy, it’s even easier to find green card holders, their addresses are, of course, on file.

So, it’s easy . . .  but it doesn’t have to be that way.

As the wife of the man detained on a twenty year old misdemeanor told the Times: “It’s happening to people who have papers. Don’t just trust. Check your record, become a citizen, stay alert to the changes…. I don’t want this to happen to someone else.”

That’s it . . . if you have the slightest question about your status, your past, anything, talk to us now, before it be becomes an issue. Now is the time to figure things out, not when you’re about to face an immigration judge.

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Our Tenth Anniversary . . . and the lost wallet that made it all possible. https://www.quirogalawoffice.com/our-tenth-anniversary-and-the-lost-wallet-that-made-it-all-possible/ https://www.quirogalawoffice.com/our-tenth-anniversary-and-the-lost-wallet-that-made-it-all-possible/#respond Wed, 16 Jan 2019 00:00:08 +0000 https://www.quirogalawoffice.com/?p=8723 Quiroga Law Office, PLLC is ten years old! We will be celebrating our tenth anniversary all month. We began as a small operation out of an eight-hundred square foot […]

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Quiroga Law Office, PLLC is ten years old! We will be celebrating our tenth anniversary all month.

We began as a small operation out of an eight-hundred square foot basement in Spokane in 2009. Quiroga Law Office, PLLC started in the basement of Casey & Hector Quiroga’s home and our firm quickly outgrew the basement on its way to becoming a firm of ‘immigrants helping immigrants’,
and expanding from Spokane to Kennewick and Las Vegas, Nevada.

But, you probably know all that. What you don’t know is this:

It’s all because of a lost wallet.

Quiroga Law Office wouldn’t exist if a woman in the U.S. Embassy in Bogotá, Colombia had not lost her wallet on a warm January day in 2000.

The story goes like this: Hector is from a prominent Colombian family, his father was an attorney (still is) with his own law firm and his mother is also a lawyer.

Hector always wanted to be an attorney, somewhere along the road growing up he decided he wanted to do it in the United States.  His father understood and imposed two conditions: “You have to study English and you have to figure out how to do it on your own.”

Hector did, he secured a Colombian passport, was accepted at the University of Texas at Austin to study English, applied for and was granted a Visa to the United States.

All set. Exciting.

US Embassy Bogotá Hector Quiroga US Embassy Bogotá US Embassy Bogotá

 

Then his passport and visa were stolen. Gone. He had to start all over again. It was August, he was due to fly out to Texas in mid-January.

Due to the byzantine workings of Colombian bureaucracy he did not get his replacement passport until January, a mere week or so before he was due to leave.

He took it and ran to the U.S. Embassy in Bogotá for a new visa. As can be imagined, the embassy was a fortress-like building, heavily guarded even then, in pre-9/11 days. And, it was jammed wall-to-wall with people.

When he finally got to a bulletproof window with a hole in it with a very put-upon woman on the other side demanded his paperwork, looked it over, stared at him for thirty seconds or so, then approved him. Which thrilled Hector until she added that it would take a month for him to receive it through the mail.

Hector was supposed to start classes the following Wednesday. He showed an early flash of his verbal abilities when he was able to get her to promise to expedite his visa if he came back with a plane ticket to Texas.

How Hector got that plane ticket is a pretty good short story that will be told on another forum on another day. For now, just know that he got it and was back at the Embassy the Monday before he was due at the University of Texas.

He was first in line. As a matter of act there was no one there. He walked in, thought it was odd that no guards seemed to be around, and went straight to the same window.

He stood, alone, and waited for it to open. A few people wandered by, no one seemed to even notice him. After a half an hour, he started wondering why there were so few people around.

He turned to look around the room at the exact moment the woman he had talked to Friday walked right by him.

“What are you doing here?” She asked, surprised, “How did you get in?”

“I walked in,” he answered, “you said come back in twenty-four hours.”

“I didn’t mean today, it’s a holiday, Martin Luther King Day.”

“Oh, I – ”

“I just came in to look for my wallet, I think, hope, I left it here.”

“Oh, but – ”

She stopped, stared, must have felt sorry for him for she said, “Well, I’m here, c’mon let’s get you your visa.”

That was it, that’s how Hector got to the United States and that’s why, eighteen years later, we’re celebrating our tenth anniversary as a firm of immigrants working with immigrants.

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Quiroga Law Office, PLLC Immigration Law Firm Celebrates 10-year Anniversary https://www.quirogalawoffice.com/quiroga-law-office-pllc-immigration-law-firm-celebrates-10-year-anniversary/ Fri, 11 Jan 2019 08:00:06 +0000 https://www.quirogalawoffice.com/?p=8708 – Quiroga Law Office, PLLC has offices in Spokane, Kennewick (Tri-Cities) and Las Vegas, NV – Honored as one of the “Fastest Growing Law Firms in the […]

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– Quiroga Law Office, PLLC has offices in Spokane, Kennewick (Tri-Cities) and Las Vegas, NV
– Honored as one of the “Fastest Growing Law Firms in the US” by Law Firm 500 for 2017 & 2018
– As an immigrant owned business, Quiroga Law Office prides itself on being a law firm of immigrants helping immigrants

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Quiroga Law Office, PLLC Immigration Law Firm Celebrates 10-year Anniversary

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash., Jan. 9, 2019 — Quiroga Law Office, PLLC is celebrating the 10th anniversary of their immigration law firm this month, culminating with an Open House in their Spokane Valley offices on January 25 from 3-5 pm. This immigrant American dream success story started as a small operation out of an eight-hundred square foot basement in Spokane in 2009. Quiroga Law Office, PLLC started in the basement of Casey & Hector Quiroga’s home resolving different civil law issues including helping immigrants.

Casey is a native of Spokane, while Hector immigrated from Colombia in 2000 and became a U.S. citizen in 2007. They met while attending classes at Spokane Community College and they continued their undergrad education at Gonzaga University and the Gonzaga University School of Law. Hector has also been an Adjunct Professor of Law at Gonzaga University for half a decade.

The basement couldn’t hold the young firm very long and Hector and Casey, while raising a family, handled every difficult matter they came across and moved to ever larger offices while hiring staff – very often other immigrants. As the firm grew, the need for bilingual employees grew as well many employees speak English and Spanish. It did not take long for the office to take on a ‘Melting Pot’ look that symbolizes the best the United States has to offer.

Now, attorneys and legal staff from Quiroga Law Office, PLLC handle everything the complex and ever-changing immigration laws, rules, regulations, and executive orders have to throw at them from three locations, Spokane, Kennewick (Tri-Cities), and most recently Las Vegas, Nevada.

Quiroga Law Office 10th Anniversary Group

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The Government Shutdown and Immigration https://www.quirogalawoffice.com/the-government-shutdown-and-immigration/ https://www.quirogalawoffice.com/the-government-shutdown-and-immigration/#respond Fri, 04 Jan 2019 16:21:21 +0000 https://www.quirogalawoffice.com/?p=8560 Happy New Year! We’re starting off with a new series of blogs for 2019 – a blog a week covering all things immigration: current news, cases, history, […]

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Happy New Year! We’re starting off with a new series of blogs for 2019 – a blog a week covering all things immigration: current news, cases, history, culture, legislation, current law, the courts, and more.

This, the first post of 2019, was penciled in as a ‘2018 in Review’ type article, the kind that’s everywhere for the first few weeks of a new year. To be followed, of course, by the usual ‘What to Expect in 2019’ piece.

It’s something of a time honored tradition in all forms of media and we were headed that way until the impact of the Federal Government shutdown became more and more evident over the past week  . . . and we ran across a series of articles about the shutdown and the immigration courts.

We couldn’t ignore them, so the ‘year in review’ is on hold and here’s our take on today’s news and what it means for our clients and potential clients.

Rolling into December our immigration courts – nationwide, not counting everything going on at our southern border – were backlogged. The Washington Post estimated that dockets were already backlogged by almost 1 million cases.

On December 26th, all immigration judges not involved in the detention cases on the border were furloughed – sent home – along with their court clerks. In short, then, there’s no one to hear immigration matters, and even if there were there’s no one to handle scheduling and manage the already overflowing dockets.

This is having, and will continue to have, a compounding effect through every immigration court. Right now, hearings cancelled in the last week are being rescheduled for 2021. Which, according to the furloughed judges and court personnel is unreasonably optimistic.

The effect of the shutdown on the immigration courts won’t really be felt until the budget fiasco is settled and the judges and clerks and all the rest of us go back to court.

Some immigrants with business before the court, however, are looking at the shutdown as a sort of ‘reprieve,’ like having a chemistry final exam cancelled by a blizzard.

A day, two days, two years, the effect is the same, eventually you have to take that test. Better to take the gift of more time to study.

That’s more than an apt warning here: when the shut down ends and the courts reconvene the backlog has to be cleared. It will be cleared by hearing cases. Quickly. Very quickly.

As Ashley Tabaddor, president of the National Association of Immigration Judges recently told NPR,

We don’t have time to adequately consider the cases that we do have, much less have to spend extra time to think about what we’re going to do with all the cases that have to be rescheduled. 

In practice it means this – when you go to court you must be completely, utterly prepared in every possible sense. Your story short, simple, compelling, and to the point. Every single form and piece of paperwork perfect.  Perfect. The court does not have the time, and certainly won’t have the inclination, to spare a moment so you ‘can square things away.’

Now, then, is the time to work with your lawyer and make sure everything is and will be in order. The court needs to clear cases as fast as possible, they will not accommodate, they will not recognize excuses. They will make a ruling.

How serious is it? A CNN documentary recently compared a day watching cases in immigration court to “death penalty cases heard in traffic court settings.” Complex cases, then, heard in five or ten minutes and judgement passed.

The unprepared have no chance in that environment and it’s only going to get worse. Please act accordingly.

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About Sheriff Joe https://www.quirogalawoffice.com/about-sheriff-joe/ Mon, 28 Aug 2017 22:27:37 +0000 http://spokanewebsolutions.com/blog_dev/?p=2539 A few things about president Trump’s pardon of Sheriff Joe Arpaio. First, president’s have the right to pardon anyone, anytime, almost without limit. Second, there have been […]

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A few things about president Trump’s pardon of Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
First, president’s have the right to pardon anyone, anytime, almost without limit. Second, there have been some horrific, inexplicable presidential pardons throughout our history, certain ones from Warren Harding and Bill Clinton stand out on that score.
This one, though, is different. This one is appalling. For reasons far beyond what you would normally expect from someone who practices immigration law.

As an regular guy who graduated law school while clerking for a federal law judge I’m struck by these facts – and please note that these are facts, not opinion, regardless of where you may fall on the political spectrum: Arpaio is 85 years old, the charge is a misdemeanor; he has not been sentenced –  there was no chance he was going to serve a prison sentence; as a misdemeanor this had all the impact of a speeding ticket on his record; the conviction is, despite it being a misdemeanor, under appeal; it is months away from final disposition; Trump did not follow a single Department of Justice guideline for a pardon; most – not all but most – presidential pardons are made over the course of the last months in office.
So, in a strict legal sense, this was not a matter that called for, never mind necessitated, a  pardon.
There was then no legal reason to pardon Apraio at this time. There was, however, a political one. It is the same political reasoning that saw the birth of the Know Nothings of the 1850s and their  revival under various names in the 1880’s, 1890s and on into the Twentieth Century and the first federal anti-immigrant measures. As former Vice-President Biden wrote in the Atlantic Magazine over the weekend:

Did we think the charlatans and the con-men and the false prophets who have long dotted our history wouldn’t revisit us, once again prop up the immigrant as the source of all our troubles?

Trump had a brutal two weeks, at the end of it, with an historic hurricane barring down on Texas, he pardoned Arpaio and put it all on immigrants. He praised the man for being ‘convicted for doing his job.’ Arpaio’s job was harassing legal immigrants while illegally detaining undocumented immigrants. The law suit that started Arpaio’s legal problems was brought by a Latino with a valid green card held by Arpaio for two weeks in oppressive conditions. After he filed, he was joined by dozens of Latinos who were U.S. Citizens when they were stopped and detained by Arpaio’s officers. Arpaio’s actions cost his county over $140 million in legal costs and to settle countless claims of brutality. While he was on his mission of harassing Latinos over four hundred cases of sexual assault, many against children, were never investigated, he couldn’t spare the resources.
Arpaio wasn’t convicted of any of this. He was convicted for disobeying a court order. He did not do this once, he did not do this in a local court. He did this repeatedly over years in federal court, he bragged about defying the court publicly until he was finally held in contempt. For those who don’t think this is right, try disregarding a federal court order just once. Then try explaining to the U.S. Marshals who arrive at your door with writs in hand that it was okay for Sheriff Joe and see what happens.
Samuel Johnson said, in 1775, that “patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” The good doctor was referring to false patriots, those who used patriotism for their own means. I would like to think that Johnson would add that ‘propping up the immigrant as the source of all our troubles’ is  the last excuse of a scoundrel.

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