The actions announced by President Obama on Nov. 20 will affect not only millions of undocumented individuals but also many American businesses, foreign national employees and their families, and certain highly skilled innovators.
Yesterday was a big, big deal in immigration law. Whether you view the president’s announcement as executive tyranny or — as I do — a long-overdue reprieve, here are some of the core implications for families.
In March, more than 700 detainees at the immigration detention center in Tacoma went on a hunger strike to protest the government’s detention policies. According to their advocates and attorneys, the strikers experienced a variety of reprisals, including forced feeding and solitary confinement. These activities were not limited to the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma—similar hunger strikes occurred recently at immigration detention centers in Texas. Given this sequence of events, maybe it’s time to ask ourselves: Has the government’s practice of locking up immigrants gone too far? Read more
The Washington Supreme Court, when it adopted the Limited License Legal Technician (LLLT) Rule, wrote of the need for this new profession due to the large gaps in accessing legal services for low-income and moderate means persons. Despite widespread recognition of this gap, the creation of the unprecedented LLLT has been met with skepticism by many attorneys. While the Latina/o Bar Association of Washington (LBAW) agrees wholeheartedly with the Washington Supreme Court on the need to provide a broad range of affordable legal services to low- and moderate-income populations, the experience of our communities in dealing with non-lawyers providing legal services gives us pause. Read more
“Can I testify via Skype?”
This great question was first posed to us by an international family law client two years ago. While it seemed like a basic inquiry to our client, it took two years to arrive at a definitive answer. The Court of Appeals would only offer guidance once the same case was appealed, on the basis that the trial court abused its discretion when Skype testimony was ultimately allowed. On Feb. 20, 2014, the Court of Appeals Division II issued a decision upholding the use of Skype in Marriage of Swaka. (Marriage of Swaka, 319 P.3d 69 (2014))
We have long supported the use of court calls and witness testimony by phone, but what about Skype, or a similar program that allows for the contemporaneous transmission of testimony without losing the ability for the court to observe the physical attributes, mannerisms, and body language of a witness? What if we could save litigants and witnesses the cost and burden of long-distance travel and increase the information available to the court? Read more