April 5, 2010
Support For Immigration Clients "Fraught With Danger"
The District of Columbia Bar Legal Ethics Committee has recently opined on the practice by immigration attorneys of executing affidavits of support for their clients. The conclusion:
Lawyers in immigration matters may not execute an Affidavit of Support (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Form I-864) on the immigrant’s behalf as a joint–sponsor while continuing to represent the immigrant in the matter. Typically, a person who signs an Affidavit of Support agrees to support the immigrant at an annual income that is not less than 125% of the federal poverty level so that the immigrant will not become a public charge. The ensuing contractual obligations continue for years after the immigrant is admitted on the basis of the Affidavit of Support. The Affidavit of Support is a guarantee of financial assistance to a client. Such guarantees are generally prohibited by Rule 1.8(d). Because the obligations continue long after the completion of the immigration proceeding, the undertaking does not fit within the narrow safe harbor of Rule 1.8(d)(2), which allows, but does not require, financial support strictly necessary to sustain the client during a proceeding. An Affidavit of Support undertaking by a lawyer to a client is also fraught with peril under Rule 1.7(b)(4) (conflicts of interest). Thus, a lawyer who wishes to serve as a joint sponsor for an immigration client by executing an Affidavit of Support on the immigrant’s behalf must withdraw from the representation of that client before doing so.
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It's a shame, but with most attorney's in todays world, it's all about money vs doing the right thing.
I thank God I grew up and was lucky enough to work with many lawyers in Tidewater, Va., that were upright citizens and not corrupt as I've found so many to be in today's world. Shamefully, this also includes many of our Judges, DA's, Clerk's of Courts, etc.
What happened to the morals of our country, especially those lawyer's should have in doing their jobs.
Why don't they realize there's plenty of need of their services and expertise, and money for doing the jobs they spent years in school learning, and not dropping their morals to make them no better than many of the illegals and criminals they represent.
Posted by: H.E.DAVIS | Apr 6, 2010 7:01:06 AM