Today I’m excited to be one of the speakers at a CLE at Tulane University that addresses one of my favorite topics: “Tools for Navigating Immigration Court.” It starts at 2 p.m. in Rm. 110 of the Tulane University School of Law, where I’ll be joined by Homero López Jr. of Immigration Services and Legal Advocacy, and Steven Schulman.
Schulman is the pro bono partner at Akin Gump and the principal author of Appleseed Immigration Court. Louisiana Appleseed is one of our favorite organizations as it works with government, legal services and other non-profits to identify systemic problems, formulate solutions, and engage pro bono counsel to effect change.
Two great online resources come out of Appleseed. The first provides an overview of immigration court proceedings, as well as specific sections on working with clients in detention, obtaining client documents from the government, pre-hearing communications with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), dealing with interpretation and videoconferencing challenges and reporting immigration judge and DHS attorney misconduct
The second is a pragmatic and practical resource for dealing with the aftermath of a deportation. Appleseed’s Manual helps families develop plans in advance to deal with critical financial and family issues in the event of detention, deportation, and other family emergencies. This is a great resource for neighbors who want to help their neighbors.
In this vein, Louisiana Appleseed has put together a pamphlet about Provisional Custody by Mandate (PCBM), which is called a "Provisional Custody Affidavit" and "Custody by Mandate Affidavit." Sometimes this form is needed by someone who is taking care of a child, trying to enroll a child in school, or trying to get other services for a child.
There is no substitute for an experienced immigration attorney, but Louisiana Appleseed is working to make crucial information necessary for dealing with the immigration court more broadly available. We hope people who need this information will get access to it because better informed clients are better clients.