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New York Lawsuit Seeks Injunction on Use of Video Conferencing to Conduct Immigration Hearings

NYC Immigration Attorney

NYC Immigration Attorney

On February 12, 2019, Brooklyn Defender Services, the Legal Aid Society and the Bronx Defenders filed a lawsuit to stop Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from requiring video interviews as a substitute for face-to-face meetings in removal proceedings. The suit seeks an injunction against these practices by the New York Field Office on the grounds that they represent violations of the fundamental rights to due process, fair hearings, access to counsel and the right to access to the courts.

Injuries Alleged in Four Categories

The lawsuit alleges four separate categories of injury caused by this video-conferencing policy, which was announced on June 27, 2018:

  • Lack of video-teleconferencing lines have caused serious delays for immigrants awaiting their removal hearings and have resulted in longer detention times for many of these individuals.
  • The lawsuit questions whether immigration judges can fairly assess credibility through the limited medium of video compared with the added details and increased clarity possible in face-to-face meetings.
  • The limitations of current video conferencing technologies can limit the ability of immigrants to understand and to follow the course of court proceedings effectively.
  • The ICE policy also interferes with the rights of immigrants to seek counsel by preventing them from meeting with their attorneys in court. This can often result in a lack of proper legal representation for these individuals and can reduce the likelihood of a positive outcome for their case.

The class-action lawsuit filed by the three legal aid organizations is intended to provide added protection against these issues for immigrants in the New York area.

Why You Need a NYC Immigration Attorney

As this lawsuit demonstrates, the odds are not generally in your favor as an immigrant in the U.S. Retaining the services of a qualified and knowledgeable New York immigration lawyer is a solid first step toward resolving issues involving visa overstays, illegal entry into the country and problems with the citizenship application process. Your attorney will provide you with the most effective representation for your case and will represent your interests both in and out of the courtroom setting.

If you need the help of a qualified and experienced New York immigration lawyer, the experts at Oltarsh & Associates can provide the right solutions for your visa issues and deportation worries. Call us today at 212-944-9420 to schedule a free initial case evaluation with our team. We look forward to the chance to work with you.