EOIR recently took disciplinary action against forty-one attorneys for violations of the rules of professional conduct for immigration practitioners.
The following twenty-one attorneys were issued orders of immediate suspension: Bradford J. Barneys, suspended based on his disbarments in Maryland and the District of Columbia; Patrick Dennis Beasley, suspended based on his disbarment in Colorado; Alfonso S. Cabral, suspended based on his three-year suspension in Colorado; Bart A. Chavez, suspended based on his disability inactive status in Nebraska; David P. De Costa, suspended based on his one-year suspension in Arizona; Maritza Diaz, suspended based on her criminal conviction in New York; Koston *** Feng, a.k.a. Koston F. Pelly, suspended based on his six-month suspension in New York; Frank M. Fernandez, suspended based on his interim suspension in Hawaii for posing a substantial threat of serious harm to the public; Michael J. Hernandez, suspended based on his ninety-one-day suspension in Florida; Errol Ivor Horwitz, suspended based on his thirty-day suspension in California; Larry Paul James, suspended based on his ninety-day suspension in California; Willie Jones, suspended based on his suspension in Florida; Robbie M. Levin, suspended based on his twenty-four-month suspension in Georgia; Mahendra R. Mehta, suspended based on his suspension in Illinois; Otto Ivan Pena, suspended based on his involuntary inactive enrollment status in California; Terry W. Rombough, suspended based on his suspension in Texas; Claude Richard Simpson, suspended based on his resignation and disbarment in New York; Charles V. Stebley, suspended based on his involuntary inactive enrollment status in California; Eric Jefferson Tinsley, suspended based on his suspension in Florida; Jessica Torres Vinals, indefinitely suspended based on her indefinite suspension in Puerto Rico; and Maria Katherine Woroby, suspended based on her disability inactive status in Minnesota.
The twenty final orders of discipline involved Gabrielle Alexis, suspended for five years based on her consent to disbarment in Florida; Bradford J. Barneys, suspended for five years based on his disbarments in Maryland and the District of Columbia; Patrick Dennis Beasley, expelled based on his disbarment in Colorado; Noel Peter Mpaka Canute, indefinitely suspended based on his admission to violating the Rules of Professional Conduct for Practitioners by appearing as an attorney before immigration tribunals when he did not have employment authorization because he was an alien out of status; Gregory Chandler, suspended for two years and three months based on his two-year, three-month suspension in California; Guy Vincent Croteau, suspended for three years based on his three-year suspension in Illinois; Maritza Diaz, expelled based on her conviction in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York; Koston *** Feng, a.k.a. Koston F. Pelly, suspended for six months based on his six-month suspension in New York; Patricia Greenwald Gittelson, suspended for six months based on his six-month suspension in California; Andrea Goode-James, suspended for eight years based on her disbarment in Massachusetts and her conviction in the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts for mail and wire fraud and misappropriation of client funds; Larry Paul James, suspended for ninety days based on his ninety-day suspension in California; Karen Kaye Meade, indefinitely suspended based on her indefinite suspension in Ohio; Keh Soo Park, expelled based on his revocation of license in Virginia; Yohan Park, suspended for two years based on his two-year suspension in New York; Juan Jesus Rodriguez, indefinitely suspended based on his disbarment in Minnesota; Hugo Rojas, suspended based on his two-year suspension in Texas; Giselle M. Samuely, expelled based on her two-year suspension in New York for conduct involving neglect and dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation, and conduct adversely reflecting on her fitness to practice law; Claude Richard Simpson, suspended for seven years based on his resignation and ultimate disbarment in New York; Toan Q. Thai, indefinitely suspended based on his repeated appearances in the Los Angeles Immigration Court while under suspension by the BIA; and Jessica Torres Vinals, indefinitely suspended based on her indefinite suspension in Puerto Rico.
USCIS Launches RIDE
USCIS launched Records and Information from DMVs for E-Verify, an E-Verify program feature that validates the authenticity of drivers' licenses used by employees as Form I-9 identity documents. Currently it is available only in Mississippi.
According to USCIS, more than 80% of employees present drivers' licenses to establish their identities when completing Form I-9. Now, when an employee in Mississippi presents a driver's license to establish his or her identity and a Social Security card to establish work authorization, for example, E-Verify will confirm the validity of the Social Security card and, through the RIDE feature, compare the driver's license against state records to confirm its validity.
"This important enhancement strengthens E-Verify's anti-fraud capabilities and will play a key role in helping employers in the U.S. maintain a legal workforce," said USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas.
Second Circuit Dismisses Child Status Protection Act Claim
On June 30, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a decision in Li v. Renaud, an appeal seeking to have the court overturn the denial of a Child Status Protection Act claim. Duo Cen, Feimei Li's son, argued that he should be able to use the 1994 priority date of his grandfather's petition for Li instead of the 2008 priority date that USCIS gave Li's F-2B petition for Cen. The court's decision is available at 2011 U.S. App. LEXIS 13357 (2d Cir. June 30, 2011). It will be summarized in more detail in a later issue. However, essentially the court held that the language in INA §203(h)(3) (8 U.S.C. §1153(h)(3)) does not permit a second petition to enjoy the first petition's priority date when they have different petitioners.
For recent commentary on the CSPA, see David Froman's Current Litigation and How to Avoid Matter of Wang, 25 I. & N. Dec. 28 (BIA 2009), for "Aged Out" Derivative Beneficiaries Under the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA): An Emerging Perspective, available on lexis.com as 2011 Emerging Issues 5696.
EOIR Flyer on Unauthorized Practice of Immigration Law
The Executive Office for Immigration Review announced the release of a new flyer to help in the fight against the unauthorized practice of immigration law. On June 22, all immigration courts began distributing the flyer (see Appendix A) to respondents in removal proceedings to help them determine whether representatives are licensed or accredited to practice before the immigration courts. EOIR Director Juan Osuna said, "We are committed to enhancing our outreach efforts to ensure that unauthorized practitioners do not victimize individuals who appear in immigration courts."
Annual Report of USCIS Ombudsman Issued
The Office of the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman released its annual report to Congress on June 29, 2011. The annual report includes an overview of the Ombudsman's Office mission, reviews USCIS major public engagement and policy initiatives, and discusses "pervasive and serious problems and best practices in the humanitarian, family, and employment areas" as well as the challenges as the agency moves from a paper-based model to an electronic environment. The full report is available at http://www. dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/cisomb-annual-report-2011.pdf, and the Executive Summary is at http:// www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/cisomb-exec-summary-annual-report-2011.pdf.
USCIS Invites Suggestions
USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas announced a Request for Information regarding customer service. The agency is interested in information about how it can more effectively receive and respond to the wide array of customer inquiries it receives, according to the solicitation. The Request is available on the Federal Business Opportunities website, https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=efc77aea5cc28132cab508b5ceca63a0&tab=core&_cview=1.
[This is an excerpt from the July 15, 2011, issue of Bender's Immigration Bulletin.]
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