What Is an Immigration Attorney?

immigration attorneyIn every sovereign country, there lies territories and borders. There is also typically protocol, rules, and regulations governing the crossing of these borders as well as visitation to or becoming a citizen of that country. In the U.S. this is all governed by federal immigration laws. In steps the immigration attorney.

Immigration attorneys strictly work with immigration situations. Sometimes it is mistakenly a common thought that these attorneys only work for private clients, attempting to enter or stay within the U.S. This is not true. Not only do immigration attorneys represent immigrant clients, but they can also represent the government and the solid application of immigration rules.

Being an Immigration Attorney: What it’s like

Being a respectable immigration attorney involves a genuine passion for the job function. It also involves an ability to be around and sort through great emotions and cases that involve high stakes for families and individuals. A comfort working within the legal system and frequently appearing in court are also natural requirements of such a position. Be prepared for lots of brain work and plenty of rewarding experiences alike.

Educational Requirements

Immigration attorneys are a specialized kind of lawyer. Lawyers go through an intensive educational program before being able to openly practice. For this particular line of law, the candidate must first complete undergraduate schooling with law as the major of focus. Assuming an acceptable GPA and attendance records, the candidate must then locate, apply to, and be accepted into law school. After or during completion of law school, an internship in similar work must be attended so as to gain appropriate, real-life experience.

I Have the Education, How do I get Started?

If you’ve already completed the above mentioned educational and internship hurdles, getting started involves getting case work. Joining the American Immigration Lawyer Association can help with this. You may need to temporarily take cases on a “pro-bono”, or charity basis. Reach out to local firms and find out if they need help with caseloads.

Having covered most of the bases, here are some extra tidbits to consider:

– Immigration law is an ever-changing matter in today’s world. Always be ready and looking for rule changes to the way the game is played.
– Minnesota and many of the states along the West Coast are renowned for immigration law educational opportunities.
– Washington DC and New York are global hubs for all things immigration.
– Comprehensive and up-to-date information is always available at the official United States Department of Homeland Security website.

Immigration attorneys are, to a degree, the overseers of the portal in and out of the United States. Such a career can be demanding, but the rewards are great. This is the world of today’s immigration attorney.

About the Author

Joshua Reitz is a third year college student majoring in history and plans to attend law school upon graduation.  He contributes frequently blogs related to his passions of history and law and more of his work can be found at War and Peace: History of U.S. at War.


Check Your Sources: The Heritage Paper

immigrationIt seems that as humans, it is hard-wired into our genetics to be territorial, to lay claim to places, property, and even beliefs, and to hold them guardedly. Sometimes this is with good reason, while other times it is not. The ongoing situation of immigration in America could rightfully fit into such subjects.

On one side, there are those who tout legalization of current illegal immigrants, as well as sweeping immigration reform as the ultimate answers to this monumental dilemma. The theory here is that costs will be lower to legalize illegal immigrants. In addition, the possibility of massive increases in American production are said to be great; this due to a large group of people no longer confined to existing in the shadows.

On the polar-opposite side of this debate lies the school of thought that sees legalization as the ultimate mistake. The “thinkers” on this side theorize that natural-born American citizens will have to do without and share what’s theirs even more so as to accommodate a population boom, should legalization take place. It is thought that government benefits, public welfare, and all other like programs will become overstretched and thus lead to some sort of system-wide collapse or pandemonium.

Such is the apparent stance of the Heritage Foundation. Headed by former senator and outspoken legalization opponent Jim DeMint, the Heritage Foundation has recently released a strong line of propaganda, mainly in the form of one internally backed, and quite precarious “study.” In this supposed study, “The Heritage Paper”, conclusions are drawn stating that illegal immigrants cost the U.S. $5.3 trillion less than an equivalent population of legalized citizens. And as cited at The Washington Post, this flawed report further claims that this group of legalized immigrants would ultimately cost the U.S. $6.3 million more in benefit receipt than what they would pay into taxes.

Flawed Study Draws Opposition

Subsequently and quite appropriately, this agenda-based “hack” at legalization has caused a great number of eyes to roll. Respected politicians and experts on both sides of political party lines have sluffed-off this faux study in numbers. According to the Politico article on the subject, the release of this report by the Heritage Foundation had high-profile figures such as Paul Ryan and Haley Barbour immediately thereafter renouncing its accuracy and basis in fact. These and many other prominent figures stepped in to say that this study was flawed because of its ignoring of several key factors that must be considered in accurately theorizing the effects of legalization.

The lesson of this story is fairly simple to discern. If you have an agenda, that’s fine. But don’t get caught offering substance-less “studies” in order to support that opinion. This only goes to refute your reputability in the end.

Childhood Stress – The Silent Monster

The article, “Acute Stress in Childhood Increases Serious Mental Illness Risk” published on the News Medical website explains the relationship between acute stress in childhood, such as sudden death of a father or sibling, and the risk of developing a mental illness in later life.

Preschool children experiencing the sudden death of their father or sibling, were significantly more likely to develop schizophrenia or bipolar disorder than those suffering the death of a parent due to natural causes, according to a research study conduced by the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin, Ireland.

The Study

The researchers reviewed Finnish government records on 11,855 people, born between 1960 and 1990, who experienced their father or sibling’s death prior to age five. They separated the data into two groups: 6,136 preschoolers who experienced a non-illness related death of a father or sibling versus 5,719 preschoolers whose father or sibling died from an illness. By studying hospital records, the researchers documented 165 cases where these preschoolers were later diagnosed with bipolar disorder and 129 cases of adult schizophrenia.


The sudden death group developed bipolar disorder 1.6 times more frequently than the illness-related death group and were 1.3 times more likely to evidence schizophrenia in adulthood. The data appear fairly robust as factors such as gender, age at death, follow-up age, and parental psychiatric history were balanced between the two groups. The effect continued to be robust even after cases of paternal suicide were excluded.

Corroborative Findings

The findings are explained by researchers at The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or MIT, who confirm that children who are neglected or sexually, physically or emotionally abused are significantly more likely to develop mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and substance abuse later as adults. Dr. Anda, Ph.D., terms these experiences Adverse Childhood Experiences, or ACE, and indicates that childhood traumas, such as having a battered mother or father in prison, or being the victim of abuse or neglect, might damage a child psychologically for life.

Dr. Anda found that these childhood traumas are, unfortunately, all too common with about two-thirds of the population having at least one ACE experience. The more ACE experiences a child has, the more likely he is to develop psychiatric problems later in life.

Pediatrician Andrew Garner, M.D., attributes both genes and environment as factors predisposing preschoolers to later psychiatric health problems. “Genes load the gun, and environment pulls the trigger,” he explains, indicating that each ACE experience breaks down a child’s genetic resilience to developing a mental illness. A genetically fragile child in a wonderful, nurturing environment may never develop a psychiatric problem whereas a comparatively genetically strong child bombarded by ACE experiences in preschool might later become mentally ill.

Hope Exists

Although these findings are grim, the good news, according to all the researchers, is that most of these tragedies are preventable. As explained by Picower Director Matt Wilson, Ph.D., “We also see the impact of early intervention and how this can translate into lifelong benefits and changes not just to individuals but to society.”

Who’s Hiring Economists?

Whereas employment opportunities in the field of economics are anticipated to grow in the foreseeable future, this particular career path will likely find a more gradual than average growth rate over time. Most of these economists carrying a 4-year degree in economics will seek employment in associated professional areas.

A diversity of companies are opting to utilize specialized job titles instead of using basic job positions in their economics department. Specialized positions for economists include micro and macro economists, financial economists, labor economists, etc. All of these specializations will need a higher degree of quantitative and critical assessment abilities. Anyone who is carrying postgraduate credentials can expect the best career options for them in the field of economics.

Employment positions in economics can be sought after in public and private sectors, individual firms and consulting agencies. Most of the published economic information come from the private department when forecasts and assessments from various consultation agencies are publicized. According to surveys and reports, the most growing market for economists is the private sector.

However, the public sector including government agencies also stands as one of the major sources of work for economists. Economists in government positions typically evaluate the effects of particular newly written laws and policy modifications that occur. Economists in the public sector also recommend policymakers on topics like importation of products and the impacts of tax cuts.

Whichever sector you are planning to work in as an economist, the nature of occupation is comparable. The work of economists demand a highly structured work environment. Economists learn, cultivate, and report regarding hypotheses associated with the distribution of limited resources by individuals creating products and services. These specialists are trained to quantify such critical data through analysis of exchange rates, work rates, cost of supplies, taxation and inflation.

Using collected data, economists then attempt to predict future patterns thorough determining existing trends. Most economists work independently with tight, well defined deadlines that usually necessitate overtime. However, they may also operate as a member of research teams. Economists mostly travel for business purposes.

According to a 2009 report, economists earn an average yearly income of around $109,000 by working for public sectors. In some fields where wages were categorically higher, the mean salary for economists were relatively better. The top 10% of economists earn a yearly income of $150,000 while the bottom 10% earn roughly $45,000. From a 1-decade span starting from 2008 to 2018, economist employment opportunities are forecast to arise by 6%. A potential increase of 15,000 available employment slots will be open within 2018, making economics students at present in a good position to find stable work after they graduate.

Employment opportunities for economists are evenly divided between public and private firms. The majority of government positions are associated with the federal government, yet state and local agencies do employ a significant population of economists as well. Most economists in the private sector, on the other hand, are allocated to scientific or technical fields wherein they are tasked to work with research and development capabilities.