The Office of the Principal Legal Advisor (OPLA) in U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE) are the attorneys who are supposed to represent the American people and nation, as well as ICE, in hearings before the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), the immigration courts in the Department of Justice (DOJ).
More often, though, OPLA attorneys work for the illegal aliens who are arrested by the enforcement components of the Department of Homeland Security: ICE, Border Patrol, Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Air and Marine Operations (AMO), and even U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), who while they don’t make arrests, do place aliens in removal proceedings. ICE OPLA is headed by Tracy Short, long-time saboteur.
OPLA is the funnel through which all aliens placed in removal proceedings must pass. Despite the best efforts of an officer or agent, all is naught if the OPLA attorney is lazy, or, more likely, a Deep State operative. Your humble correspondent has long written about the machinations of OPLA as part of their own little amnesty program that is run under the guise of their “legal analysis” of the facts of a particular case, which usually just ignores the law, especially when it comes to the issue of waivers of grounds of inadmissibility for illegal aliens claiming residency in EOIR proceedings based on “extreme hardship.” Background on OPLA Deep State resistance and sabotage is here, here, here, and here.
Tracy Short, Chief Saboteur At ICE OPLA
There appear to be no changes at OPLA despite exposés of their sabotage, and new information from the EOIR courts shows OPLA is acquiescing to illegal aliens making false claims of “extreme hardship” and acquiescing to their fraud based on “good behavior.”
Lopez tells the judge about his devout Christianity and Bible studies, his kids’ education at a charter school and dreams of going to college, his fear of having to move his children to a dangerous place they’ve never been.
He’s hoping to stay in the country under a provision for immigrants who have lived in the country more than a decade and have American children who would suffer if they were they gone.
After about an hour of questioning, Judge Lincoln Jalelian tells Lopez he’ll take the case under advisement. The government attorney says she won’t oppose granting Lopez a visa due to his “exemplary” record and community service, which means he’ll likely be able to stay.
[AP Visits Immigration Courts Across US, Finds Nonstop Chaos, Kate Brumback, Deepti Hajela and Amy Taxin, Associated Press, January 16, 2020, emphasis added.]
First, an explanation of the above mentioned provision of immigration law that the illegal alien Lopez is seeking. This is relief from removal and receiving legal permanent residency. This provision is called the hardship waiver of grounds for inadmissibility. This is based not on what will happen to the alien applying, but on what will happen to the dependent spouse, parent, or child.
This is not about whether income will be reduced, not about whether the U.S. Citizen spouse, child, or parent will move to a dangerous country, as they don’t have to leave, but if because of a loss of income, the spouse, child, or parent will be deprived of life dependent medical care. Usually the only reasons are a long term medical-condition that cannot be treated overseas and would result in serious injury or death.
In the above case, none of that appears to be true, as nothing was mentioned about the legal basis for the waiver. What was telling though was that the “government attorney,” an OPLA attorney, stated that the government would not oppose a waiver based on extreme hardship, the legal standard, based on Lopez’ “‘exemplary’ record and community service…”
Neither exemplary record nor community service are standards for waivers of grounds of inadmissibility. This shows us that OPLA attorneys are allowing illegal aliens to claim waivers of grounds of inadmissibility without any basis in law, just because an illegal alien claims they are a good person and help the homeless. None of which was actually shown to be true, just a claim by the illegal alien.
It is time for Ken Cuccinelli to get OPLA on a leash and under control. These Deep State bureaucrats are sabotaging what enforcement is taken. You can arrest millions of illegal aliens, but if OPLA keeps ignoring the law and conniving with illegal aliens, all is for nothing. Time for Ken Cuccinelli to clean up ICE OPLA; fire Tracy Short.