Join Club

Statutes of Liberty: The virtues of the immigration racket part 1 — The rules of the game

This sponsored column is by Law Office of James Montana PLLC. All questions about it should be directed to James Montana, Esq., Doran Shemin, Esq., and Laura Lorenzo, Esq., practicing attorneys at The Law Office of James Montana PLLC, an immigration-focused law firm located in Arlington, Virginia. The legal information given here is general in nature. If you want legal advice, contact us for an appointment.

Note: In this Guest Essay, our anonymous friend, Prof. Erasmus, explains his rather unusual thoughts about U.S. asylum law, which — of course — we do not endorse or even pretend to understand. If you like Prof. Erasmus’s work, stay tuned, because he intends to make this a regular feature. We’ll see if he intends to pay our advertising bill.

Prof. Erasmus Explains It All!

I, Professor Erasmus, read your newspapers, your books, even your advertising features, and I have noticed a disturbing trend: everyone hates American immigration law. One side says that U.S. immigration law is far too permissive; the other side says that it is far too restrictive. Both sides say that U.S. immigration law is “broken,” Both sides are completely mistaken. I am here, in all Christian mildness, to correct that. I am here in praise of folly.

Let us begin by explaining the rules of the game. Law should not be judged by what it says it does, but by what it actually does. What does U.S. immigration law actually do? Here is what it does: it permits certain kinds of people to enter the United States, where they are (usually) happier, more productive and richer than they were before.

Who gets to enter? Three kinds of people:

  • People Who Actually Qualify As a Matter of Law

U.S. immigration law pretends that this is the only category of people permitted to enter. Tripe! People who qualify are of course permitted to enter, but they aren’t the only ones.

  • People Who Do Not Qualify, But Fool Consular Officials

A common way to immigrate to the United States is to fool a consular official at a visa interview. This is not easy, because most consular officials are not fools. To fool a consular official, you have to be able to tell a story about how you intend to come temporarily to the United States. That story may be false, but it must be consistent, credible and persuasive. Telling such a story requires being smart and resourceful.

  • People Who Do Not Qualify, But Fool Border Officials

Another common way to immigrate to the United States is to fool a border official at a credible fear interview. The ostensible purpose of a credible fear interview is to determine whether there is a “significant possibility” that the applicant will someday qualify for asylum under U.S. law.

Passing a credible fear interview is easier for some and harder for others. If you present yourself at the U.S. border with Canada and state that you fear Justin Trudeau’s spelunking habit, you will be denied entry. But if you present a story that is consistent, credible and persuasive, your odds of being admitted are actually quite high. Telling such a story requires being smart and resourceful.

So far, I have demonstrated that a certain kind of person is permitted to enter the United States. That person is either (a) actually qualified as a matter of law, or (b) smart and resourceful. In my next article, I will explain how the law intends to treat people in category (b), and how, in practice, the legal system operates to their advantage.

Questions? Ask, if you like. I have no confidence that the legal commentariat will understand me, but I expect slightly better things from ARLnoow readers. Try not to disappoint me.

Recent Stories

A man was shot early this morning in Clarendon and police are still looking for the suspect. The shooting happened around 2 a.m. at a parking lot along N. Highland…

Good Friday evening, Arlington. Today we published articles that were read a total of 5266 times… so far. 📈 Top stories The following are the most-read articles for today —…

A water rescue operation is underway along Four Mile Run after reports of a drunk man falling down an embankment. The incident happened shortly before 4 p.m. behind the Virginia…

With the Yellow Line bridge and tunnel work complete, Metro is upping service on the line. Starting Sunday, Yellow Line trains will arrive every eight minutes all day, the transit…

Join MoCA Arlington Summer Camps at Marymount University and learn the fundamentals of handbuilding, throwing on a wheel, glazing, and much more. In this two-week course, students will explore hand building techniques, wheel throwing, and strengthen ideas that exemplify individual artist expression guided by professional working artists. Students of all skill levels are welcome!

Visit MoCA Arlington’s Website here and the registration page to secure your space today!

Submit your own Announcement here.

Please join us on Saturday, June 3, from 2 to 4 pm for the Glencarlyn Home Tour in Arlington’s historic Glencarlyn neighborhood.  Among the featured homes will be a sparkling new home by A&N Builders at 5604-4th St. South. The inviting front porch opens to a light-filled space featuring high ceiling, wood floors, gas fireplace,  Pella windows, Shrock cabinets, Quartz countertop, and JennAir appliances.  Doors from the family room open to a large covered porch with a few steps to the level, landscaped rear yard.  Upstairs, there are four bedrooms, three bathrooms, laundry room, and linen storage.  The big lower level has a rec room, gym space, and a fifth bedroom and bathroom plus even more storage.  After leaving the home, stroll to the Ball-Sellers home, the oldest residence in Arlington, the community gardens at the library, Carlin Hall, and the 94 acre Glencarlyn Park. A lovely way to while away a late spring afternoon.

Submit your own Announcement here.

Homebuying 101: Steps to Getting Pre-Approved

Are you ready to jump into homeownership or started considering it but don’t know where to start? Financial preparation is key when thinking about purchasing your first home and the first step to getting pre-approved.

Join ACFCU’s mortgage loan officers

4th of July Celebration & Fireworks

Treat yourself this Independence Day with a world-class, private 4th of July extravaganza at the Military Women’s Memorial – a premier National Capital Region site.

Great food, fun, and the best views of Washington DC’s spectacular fireworks display. Relax, enjoy,


Subscribe to our mailing list