TN Visa Lawyer – A day at the Border

Attorney Habib Hasbini from our TN department just came back from the border with a client, he put in writing his most recent impressions and frustrations.

Heading to the U.S./Mexican border in San Diego, arriving at the immigration, U.S. port of entry, Tijuana, depending on when you arrive, you witness a long trail of people, possibly and easily topping two or three hundreds, again depending on the hour you arrive, attempting to enter the U.S. soil.

Along the trail, you witness the Mexican officers as they oversee, standing by, the free and smooth operation of the steps into U.S. territory.

TN-Visa applicants, have a quite different treatment. Akin to Sentri pass holders, TN-Visa applicants receive VIP treatment by bypassing a relatively long trail and leapfrogging into the immigration unit, inside the U.S. port of entry.

Depending on the hour, (strongly advised to get in or around between 9:00 and 9:30 a.m.) a considerably shorter line lies as you step into the immigration unit.

Inside the immigration unit, you see an L-shape counter as officers (often lacking requisite knowledge and competence) sit behind. The Immigration hub, akin to a beehive, process secondary inspection travelers, entry permits, visa interviews, I-94’s, and Parole authorizations.

Travelers, seemingly worried and anxious, await in artificial lines, inside. Among the seemingly unpopular (and often-despised) group, are immigration attorneys, as they are instructed, with premeditation and deliberation, to remain behind the scenes and “Wait outside.” Inconsistency, let alone arbitrariness, best describe the decisions officers undertake, at the end of interviews. U.S. Constitution’s Due Process, let alone, the innate principle of right to assistance to counsel, are seemingly non-existential, inside the hub. Conscience-shocking!!!
Inside the hub, emotions and stakes are running high, with no opportunity to hear or rebut the often-self-initiated precedents, or alleviate the woes and allay the fears and concerns, resulting from seldom-used reasoning.

When approached to inquire about the decision and its rational or lack thereof, counsels are told “Come back another day.”
What happened inside? Who knows!!!