January 20, 2010 § Leave a comment

Sometimes immigrants are told, “You’re in America, speak English.”

Now, this is nothing new.  Such expressions have been used throughout American history whenever a new group of foreigners arrives here.

In our family, there was a grandfather who had emigrated from Eastern Europe.

He had never seen an orange in his home country.

When he arrived in New York, someone — who spoke better English — told him to try the fruit but “neglected” to mention that he should peel it.

His children and grandchildren have heard this tale about a million times.

Of course, those kids learned English growing up, just as occurs today with the kids of first generation immigrants.

There is another domain in which people say, “speak English.”

Here we go:

IN a 9-0 decision today, the Supreme Court ruled that immigrants may challenge certain orders of deportation in federal court.

Specifically, the Court addressed denials of motions to reopen from Immigration Judges and the Board of Immigration Appeals.

AND now the English version:

Before today, certain immigrants’ rights were limited due to a law enacted more than a decade ago.

This law removed much of the federal courts’ authority to review prior decisions from Immigration Courts.

More than once, we were told by federal judges that they had no authority to hear our arguments, due to the law which stripped them of power.

We cannot predict the whole future, but we now know that the Supreme Court is in unanimous agreement that this “court stripping” was too far-reaching.

We have won numerous federal cases already.

In plain English, today’s decision strengthens our ability to fight for our clients.


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