Welcome 2020 & Getting Back to Work
I have not been diligent in keeping this blog up to date. Not to make excuses, but I think a lot of that has to do with a desire not to spend my free time talking about the stuff I see every day at the office or on the road. They take a toll and I generally cope with them by pretending they're not happening when I finally get some time away from it though.
2019 was an eventful year. There were oral arguments in front of the circuit courts, at least one involving litigation I had been managing for years. They didn't go so well, but it was a major step forward and a tremendous learning experience.
New detention centers opened up in our region, leading me to get to know the state of Louisiana better than I had ever planned on doing. Winning in court got harder. The asylum denial rate in the Memphis and LaSalle immigration courts hovers near 100%.
But there were victories too. We won some reversals from the BIA and had success in most of our cancellation of removal cases. Despite bonds getting higher and harder to win, we saw some success in the detention centers - as well as humanity.
2020 will bring a whole new set of challenges. It's an election year. If 2016 was any indication, this one will not be boring. The administration in power seems to take things out on immigrants whenever things don't go its way, so we can be certain there will be a whole litany of new policies that will present challenges we have not had to confront yet.
Despite the challenges, this year has not been written yet. I have no doubt each challenge will provide opportunities to push back and gain victories, even if they seem small. At a minimum, I hope to do a better job this year recording those experiences.
Nathan Bogart is an immigration attorney at BOGART, SMALL + NAYLOR, a Fayetteville, Arkansas-based immigration and criminal defense firm. He manages the firms immigration litigation practice, focusing on detention & bond issues, removal defense, appeals, and immigration-related matters in the federal courts.