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Dear Editor:
While the enforcement of removal orders and laws in general are of paramount importance, safeguards against errors must be in place. People are asked to comment on the 30-day surrender rule by June 10th. The Surrender rule requires that persons with orders of removal or voluntary departure surrender themselves for such within 30 days or they will be barred for 10 years from any kind of immigration benefit for ten years and consulate review will be tainted by a negative inference. This is another effort to sound tough and get tough on people with orders of removal. Bravo. Right? - Well.. what about those with in absentia orders due to lack of notice on the part of the Immigration court or due to negligent lawyers or advocates. If a Lozada motion is filed, or worse a motion to reopen based on the fact that the same lawyer did not follow Lozada to properly reopen a case, will the removal orders be stayed? Upon a reopened proceeding, will an immigration judge stay a removal order - or vacate such? Technically, unless a stay of removal or voluntary departure is obtained - one can be removed while waiting for a decision by the BIA to reopen. Will the ten year bar disappear when the case is reopened? Will the "negative inference" at the consuluates disappear? Non detained cases are taking over 3 years to get off the shelf at the BIA.

The rule, like the 3 & 10 year bars for overstays is another rule that does not serve its purpose. It may persuade a limited number of people to leave and take their chances, but how many? If one has nothing to go back to,the chances are he or she will simply go underground. This rule will force more people underground and thus perhaps never able to appeal, or become permanent residents. Unless the enforcement side of INS becomes very good at its function - the INS will not be very effective in removing those with orders. This surrender rule will not help them. Its time to re-think the purpose of the bill. The INS should go after illegal aliens with emphasis on criminal aliens. The 10 year period is too much of a time for the bill to be effective. Perhaps, if people had to leave and remain outside for a year or 18 months before applying at a consulate and overcoming the "negative inference" than more people might decide to leave.

I hope others will respond and comment, especially where it concerns those affected by in absentia orders and negligent lawyers.

Ross Brady, Esq.