Should I Bring An Attorney To The Interview?
In my view, you should ABSOLUTELY bring an attorney to any interview with USCIS or ICE or CBP. My experience with interviews since President Trump took office is that there has been a strong effort to deny as many petitions as possible. The questions Immigration officers ask are much more invasive. In marriage based interviews they split the couple apart and ask questions separately to see if the answers given are different. Under the Obama administration, splitting the couple up was only occurring if the interview wasn't going well.
Under the Obama administration, if my clients had an uncomplicated marriage based green card petition, I would talk them out of bringing me - to save them money. However, I quickly found out that the same is not true under President Trump. There were a couple of marriage based green card petitions that I filed under Obama but the interviews were under Trump, in early February 2017. After I had filed, under Obama, I talked my clients out of bringing me to the interview. However, when they showed up to the interview, under Trump, the immigration officers were rude and accusatory. They split the couple up immediately. There was two officers interrogating them. At the end of the interview, the officers stated that they failed and forcibly coerced them into withdrawing their petition! The officers threatened the couple by saying that if they did not withdraw their petition the husband would be deported and the wife put in jail. They called me immediately following the interview. I had them come to my office immediately. I had them fill out affidavits that they were forcibly coerced into withdrawing their petition. I then marched to the immigration office and demanded to speak to a supervisor. I informed the supervisor of the forcible coercion and told her that I was going to demand to be heard by an immigration judge. Later that afternoon, I received an email from the immigration officer who conducted the interview - an extremely occurrence - were he informed me that the couple's petition had been approved.
I have since informed all my clients that I will be attending the interview with them. It is just not safe anymore.
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