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Dear Editor:
I read with great interest ILW.COM's articles/comments concerning the AR-11 issue. According to the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA):

Section 265, 8 USC 1305(a) Notification of Change - "Each alien required to be registered under this title who is within the United States shall notify the Attorney General [INS] in writing of each change of address and new address within ten days from the date of such change and furnish with such notice such additional information as the Attorney General [INS] may require by regulation."

In addition, Section 265, 8 USC 1306(b) states: Failure to Notify Change of Address - "....any alien who fails to give written notice to the Attorney General [INS], as required by section 265, shall be taken into custody and removed in the manner provided by chapter 4 of this title, unless such alien establishes to the satisfaction of the Attorney General [INS] that such failure was reasonably excusable or was not willful."

I think it is interesting to note that the INS recently has attempted to prosecute (file charges alleging violations of this law) its NTAs in Atlanta. I think it is also interesting to note as well that the charges were brought, or the venue selected to bring the charges, were before a Judge who had been considered to be conservative, to say the least. While I disagree with what seems to be the common consensus about this Judge (in recent months I have practiced before him quite extensively), the INS did pick the right venue, but the wrong judge. Considered the "busiest" immigration judge in America [reportedly deciding a whopping 3,846 asylum cases over a five-year period], you would think that the INS picked the right judge at the right time. The use of AR-11 prosecutions did not receive a warm welcome, however. To the INS' chagrin, the IJ (Hon. William Cassidy) has flatly disagreed with the enforcement of the law as it was used by the INS, ruling recently on August 6, 2002 that the federal government cannot deport legal immigrants for not willfully failing to report a change of address (See Atlanta Constitution Article, entitled "Judge Prevents Man's Deportation Address Lapse Said To Be Not Sufficient Cause," August 6, 2002).

Practitioners in other jurisdictions should use this decision where the Service is attempting to initiate removal proceedings on this basis alone.

Christopher W. Helt, Esq.
Chicago, Illinois