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Tips for Choosing an Immigration Attorney

In May 2022, attorneys from the United States Department of Justice are preparing to defend against a lawsuit filed by Jose Guerra-Castañeda, a citizen of El Salvador who was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents from the Boston field office in 2019. Guerra-Castañeda spent months in an immigration detention facility in Louisiana before his deportation, which was carried out despite a court order that prohibited it.

The aforementioned case is one of many the Department of Justice will likely feel forced to settle. It’s a reminder of the “deportation force” hastily assembled during the administration of former President Donald Trump. When interviewed about his story, Guerra-Castañeda often mentions that retaining an immigration law firm to handle his case was the best decision he ever made. Thanks to the work of his legal team, he was able to return to the U.S., obtain his green card, and file the aforementioned lawsuit.

Foreigners who plan to live, work, or study in the U.S. are in greater need of specialized legal services these days. Even though the American immigration system is still far from undergoing reform, things are changing very rapidly, and they’re not getting any simpler. To increase your chances of a smooth immigration process, you need to have the best San Diego immigration lawyer you can find by your side. Here’s how you can choose an immigration lawyer.

Search Your Local Bar Associations

In the common law system of the United States, bar associations are based on the jurisdictions they serve, and they often manage special practice categories such as immigration. To be admitted into specialized bar associations, lawyers must first be in good standing with their state bars, and then they have to submit proof of their practices’ focus. Some national bars are managed at the regional chapter level—for example, the Southern California office of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Thanks to the vetting of their members, bar associations will always be a safe choice when searching for attorneys.

Referrals from Immigrant Communities and Networks

A more informed decision about immigration law firms can be based on recommendations from prior clients, particularly those with whom you have some affinity. Some immigration law firms make it a point to cater to specific countries, regions, or ethnic groups. This is an excellent method of establishing a reputation through word-of-mouth marketing. Nonprofit organizations that operate at the community level are known to endorse law firms that have represented their members satisfactorily. You can also get referrals from social media groups where immigrants gather to discuss their experiences.

Language and Cultural Factors

Being represented by an immigration attorney who speaks your language is a great advantage, and it’s even more beneficial if he or she also understands important aspects of your culture. You don’t have to make this a mandatory requirement. A law firm can always hire paralegals who speak your language and are familiar with your national culture even if your lawyer isn’t fluent. 

Hiring a highly qualified immigration attorney is one of the best ways to make the immigration process less complicated and stressful. If you need reliable, high-quality legal advice about San Diego immigration issues, reach out to the immigration law experts at KS Visa Law. To schedule an appointment, call us today at 858-874-0711.

May 2024