Thursday, October 29, 2020

The Loneliness of the Immigration Lawyer


Marcia Brown for the American Prospect looks at the experiences of the immigration lawyer in the time of Trump.  The sub-title of the article encapsulates it well:  "Immigration attorneys say they’re battling Trump’s ‘war of attrition.’ If he’s re-elected, some may reconsider the work altogether."

In the body of the article, Brown summarizes her interviews with immigration attorneys as follows:

"Four years into this migration crisis, there’s a parallel migration under way—of immigration lawyers out of the profession. Survey data and interviews the Prospect conducted with more than a dozen lawyers around the country reveal the physical, mental, and financial toll endured by members of the bar. Given the extreme violence, trauma, and inhumanity their clients often endure, immigration attorneys don’t like to talk about how it affects them. But secondary trauma also leaves a mark, making it impossible to continue for some attorneys. Although numerical data is limited, there is evidence that some attorneys are cutting back on some types of cases, such as deportation defense work, or even leaving immigration law altogether. Removal defense casework is one of the most time-intensive, emotional, and exigent parts of lawyers’ loads. It’s also where the administration has aimed much of its cruelest policymaking, severely limiting lawyers’ efficacy." (bold added).


Current Affairs | Permalink