Law in Contemporary Society

View   r10  >  r9  >  r8  >  r7  >  r6  >  r5  ...
SamuelPittmanFirstEssay 10 - 03 Nov 2023 - Main.SamuelPittman
Line: 1 to 1
META TOPICPARENT name="FirstEssay"

Never Far from Danger –Protecting Liberty at the Southern Border


By SamuelPittman - 5 March 2023

I Don’t Know My Parents

I have never met my mom, but I had always assumed that she was trying to protect me from danger. However, as I have grown older, I am afraid that I have either been misled or lied to, because truth be told, no one knows what she was thinking.

I was adopted as an infant from Guatemala. Part of me deals with the fact that I have always felt a little stripped of my free will. My adoption taught me at young age that no one controls their circumstances. I came to recognize the genuine transformative power of being a naturalized U.S. citizen.

I have found a way forward and it seems to be law school.

I know what I want my legal education to provide for me. I am on a journey to identify the skills necessary to assist individuals in my home country of Guatemala in obtaining access to their legal right to apply for asylum and citizenship within the United States.

The current state of our immigration system is unacceptable.

Current Conditions Preventing a Legislative Solution

Exactly 13,978 people fled Guatemala in 2021. Violence, corruption, and prosecution reasonably leads migrants to flee their home countries. The costs of this are high. With a near 130,000 unaccompanied migrant children entering the U.S. shelter system in 2022.

Hostility to migrants and asylum seekers is woven into our politics. My prior experience volunteering as a witness reporter with, immigration non-profit, El Refugio, affirmed my deepest concerns regarding the treatment of human beings.

El Refugio offers support for individuals being detained in Stewart Detention Center by placing them in contact with their families.

Stewart is a private prison operated by Correction of America under contract with ICE. Testimony from those inside the Stewart Detention highlights accusations of abusive conditions and unsafe conditions, which increased drastically during the height of COVID-19 pandemic.

Inside the walls of Stewart are human beings that U.S. Immigration Law refuses to grant protection to. Our group would be tasked with verifying whether the detainee we were placed in contact with was in a stable condition.

Stewart Detention Center is just a portion of what formulates our current state of conditions.

Currently, the United States is home to a Congress that is not realistically going to ban together to make substantive and the administrative changes in U.S. border policing arrangements. Moreover, the Supreme Court has historically given extreme deference to Congress on how they proceed with conducting immigration policy.

Despite this, I don’t find either the inaction of Congress or the stagnant nature of the law to be a compelling reason to forfeit the mission of helping others; especially when the stakes are as high as they are.

What is at Stake? Privacy, Freedom– A Digital Border

The stakes are changing in the digitalized reality. Immigrants, asylum seekers, and persecuted communities have historically felt the lack of protection U.S. Immigration Law affords them. But the problem for the immigration lawyer has expanded.

Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) is now a tool used to secure international borders. With the expansion of A.I. at the border, the U.S. has adopted a smart border approach.

Governing immigration policy is shifting to conducting asylum applications through government run apps. This is only one part of the effort to digitize our border zone. DHS received $780 million in 2021 for technology and surveillance at the border. Proposals of a virtual border are currently being made. Drones, cameras, and everything we already have on our smart phone are being used as a tool to transform immigration policing.

Privacy is at now at the heart of protecting immigrant rights. While the border is exempted from the Constitution’s protection against unreasonable search and seizure, the methods our immigration system uses to regulate the border are not immune from criticism. Due process violations, infringements on the right to privacy, violation of notice, and the implications of freedom in the globalized world are now stake.

A Theory of Action

At the baseline, my theory of action seeks to build a practice counseling and assisting clients who are collaterally trapped in the congressional web of dysfunction.

My practice is essentially counseling asylum seekers, with a focus on offering legal counsel to individuals fleeing persecution based on sexual orientation. This inherently involves proximity to chaos and tension.

My practice will find a viable solution for how to protect vulnerable individuals from government surveillance. Many LGBTQ+ asylum seekers, individuals persecuted on religious grounds, and those fleeing duress, simply cannot afford to have their identities fall into the hands of the wrong person. While waging a battle against government surveillance places the practice at a grave disadvantage, my theory of action takes a utilitarian approach. I would rather try to make an impact than none.

I only understand one thing in property:

Underlying the vision for my practice is Jeremy Bentham's Theory of Legislation– property and law are born together and die together.

The challenge of counteracting the obstacles of a standstill legislative branch and the inevitable digitization of the border is the current condition. But the law being a suborn bull doesn't diminish what my practice stands for. United States Immigration policing will not alter course. I still believe despite the current challenge, what Bentham provides is basis for the possibility for change.

A lawyer is never far from danger. Now that I am in law school, I have recognized my practice and my law degree will lead me to witness loss. But, knowing that, I can at least start to brainstorm other reasons why my mom did what she did. Danger was inevitably going to find me as a law student. So, maybe my mom wasn’t trying to protect me, but rather, give me the opportunity to go and protect others.

Excellent. One more proofreading pass was needed to pick up the few errors that spell-checking (that digital border instrument) didn't catch. Your natural rhetoric, with its factual low key, suits you entirely, because it is yours. Wherever you lose simplicity you lose directness, and your hold over your reader.

We need to talk more about this practice, to discuss how it can be made sustainable for you. Then law school will really have helped you beat your path.

Revision 10r10 - 03 Nov 2023 - 19:55:24 - SamuelPittman
Revision 9r9 - 23 Apr 2023 - 14:37:13 - SamuelPittman
This site is powered by the TWiki collaboration platform.
All material on this collaboration platform is the property of the contributing authors.
All material marked as authored by Eben Moglen is available under the license terms CC-BY-SA version 4.
Syndicate this site RSSATOM