Of Interest

IN FOCUS: Immigration Law


by Bradley Maze   |   Michigan Bar Journal


Immigration is certainly a hot topic nationally, but there are also state and local impacts of which State Bar of Michigan lawyers should be aware.

In this, the SBM Immigration Law Section’s first theme edition of the Michigan Bar Journal, we present four articles that will educate members and highlight the crossovers between immigration law and other aspects of law. The piece “Meet Me at the Crossroads” by Pamela S. Wall, Farah Hobballah, and Abril Valdes Siewert highlights instances where immigration and family law sometimes intersect. Two articles — “Banishment from the Kingdom” by Siewert and Mani Khavajian and “What a Difference a Day Makes” by Elinor R. Jordan — discuss the impact of criminal convictions and current criminal statutes on immigration charges of removability or inad­missibility. Finally, the article “Culture and Language Competency in the Legal World” by Jaimie Lerner sheds light on the disconnect in language, culture, and overall understanding in our legal system and the many immigrants who come into contact with it. These articles encourage lawyers to appreciate that noncitizens require a more conscious approach in representation — which includes the use of competent interpreters — and not assume that the simple or mundane aspects of their legal cases are easily comprehended.

The purpose of the Immigration Law Section is to foster awareness and appreciation of the areas of immigration and nationality law; study immigration and nationality law; promote recognition of im­migration and nationality law as a specialized area of practice; educate of members of the Bar and the public on immigration and nationality law and policy; sponsor, prepare, and assist in the publication of legal writing in the field; and otherwise further the interests of the Bar and the legal profession on immigration and nationality law.

We welcome this opportunity to share our expertise with SBM members in the Bar Journal and are also eager to collaborate on intersectional activities and workshops. While we are a newer and smaller section of about 400 attorneys, we encourage all SBM members to drop into one of our monthly meetings and, if interest­ed, formally join our section.

We look forward to collaborating with you and hope you enjoy our contributions to this edition of the Michigan Bar Journal.