Mar 31st 2017 by prozzakofficial • 24 Questions • 179 Points
My short bio:
My name is Matt Cameron. I think about, write about, and practice immigration law nearly seven days a week. I have been a licensed attorney for twelve years as of September, and the managing partner of a three-attorney law office in the Boston area for the past seven years with a special focus on deportation defense and mitigating the immigration consequences of criminal convictions. I teach "Immigration and Urban America" at Northeastern University's School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, am a member of the board of the Student Immigrant Movement, and regularly contribute background and commentary to local, state, national, and international media on American immigration matters.
I am here for you to AMA because there is probably no other major public policy issue in the U.S. with such a massive gap between the realities of the current policies and what Americans seem to believe the policies actually are. While the other big issues du jour like healthcare and climate change usually touch on things that we all have to live with, immigration is not an issue that most U.S. citizens ever have to personally confront in their own lives. (This, among many other things, might explain why we just elected a man who ran on the ugliest and most determinedly nativist platform in a century or more of American history while willfully failing to inform himself as to the system that we actually have.)
I thought an AMA might be one easy thing that I could do right now to do my part to fill the gap. For as long as I have been studying this issue, I have always seen people ask counterfactual questions like "why don't they just get in line?" or "why can't you fill out the forms like everyone else?" or "what part of legal immigration don't you understand?", and I thought this might be a good way to provide concise, factual answers to these counterfactual inquiries that could be useful to anyone who is genuinely trying to understand this stuff as well as to gain the benefit of the experience of discussing all of this with people beyond my immediate and extended social circles. (And to be clear: any and all of those three questions are absolutely welcome for further discussion, as are any others at all so long as they are made in good faith. Trolls will starve.)
I will keep my answers as objective and factually-grounded as possible, but full disclosure: I do have a strong pro-immigration (and pro-immigrant) bias, and am well past the point where I can study or work within the American immigration system without recognizing that it is foremost a function of centuries of historic racism and colonialism. So I won't pretend that I don't have my own ideological approach to this... but I also truly believe that immigration should be a non-partisan issue, and one which deserves an adult, open-minded dialectic.
I WILL NOT PROVIDE LEGAL ADVICE OR ANYTHING THAT LOOKS LIKE LEGAL ADVICE here, so please no questions requesting a complete review of possible options once your H1B has expired or if your arrest record could cause current or future immigration problems or if you have all of the right supporting documents for your marriage visa or whatever. I am more than happy to answer those questions--on the phone or in person--for money.
1) My MA ID and bar card: http://imgur.com/gallery/kUenPeW
2) My FB page, in which most of my public posts are about immigration issues: http://facebook.com/mattcameronlaw
3) Twitter: @matt_cam
4) A recent piece in The Baffler on the realities of the American deportation machine: https://thebaffler.com/outbursts/strangers-in-a-cruel-land
5) Boston Globe story on three of my cases this week: https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2017/03/27/vermont-activists-set-post-bond-immigration-charges/eIcbvNUSCoXJqI4SQDeU5I/story.html
6) Interview this morning on Democracy Now: https://www.democracynow.org/2017/3/31/is_ice_targeting_undocumented_activists_for
Boston's WBUR just reported on Immigration and Customs Enforcement detaining five individuals who had "final orders for removal". They had shown up for interviews as part of the process of applying for a green card.
ICE Arrests Green Card Applicants In Lawrence, Signaling Shift In Priorities
What are final orders for removal?
And, care to comment on this new development and, objectively, what it means for the various stakeholders (persons, people, government, etc.) as well as those on the spectrum of the immigration debate (both those for and against deportation of illegal/undocumented persons)?
I still can’t seem to figure out how to hold onto love. I think I do everything right but as usual the initial excitement of a new relationship always has disaster around the bend as outlined in our song Can’t Lick this Love thing on the new album. - Simon
This was big news in the local immigration law community this week... heard the rumor by email and I was actually on a panel a few hours later with Lawrence's (awesome) new state rep Juana Matias who confirmed early details.
A "removal" order is just the legal name for an order of deportation. Showing up to an immigration office with an old deportation order over your head is kind of like showing up to a courthouse with an old outstanding warrant... there's always a chance you'll be held. As with warrants, though, there are quite a few people out there living their lives who do not know or understand that they have these orders--which typically come either from being caught at the border and immediately returned, or from missing a scheduled immigration court hearing.
But just for perspective, this was a totally routine practice before Obama. It's only making news now because (1) it's been more than eight years since it was done anywhere and (2) Trump.
The bigger question for me is how the local USCIS district director (who is known to be firmly against allowing ICE to enforce on USCIS property) allowed (or was made to allow) this to happen.
I will say that immigration lawyers (myself included) got complacent under Obama. Although his administration was far from soft on deportations, it ended these kinds of inhumane enforcement tactics. Walking a client with an old order into a USCIS interview (always risky and never advised) is now only one of many chances that we can absolutely no longer afford to take.
I've had a great time catching back up with Prozzak (I saw a live performance last June in Toronto, unfortunately had to miss out on this tour...) Thanks for coming back for the fans - I hope you're have fun on the road again.
For a question: You have both been very heavily involved in the music industry for (the majority of) your adult lives. Do you think there will need to be a change in the way Simon & Milo connect with modern audiences? What about the lapse of time throughout your careers has impacted your writing and inspiration most significantly?
P.S. Congrats on the engagement Jay - I don't recall if a wedding date was set and passed or is in the future.
What would be the best way for attorney's who don't have a background in this area to help out?
I'd very much like to do a Prozzak musical theater production and I think the project could translate well in that medium.
This doesn't seem to be a popular answer whenever anyone asks me this... but my first response is that if you are an attorney who does not practice immigration law, there is a much better chance that you are earning a decent living and could be in a position to help to fund the work of dedicated immigration attorneys and advocates. Consider becoming not just a donor, but a regular sustainer of a local or national organization (other than the ACLU, which I love but is doing just fine without you) which does immigration-specific work that you believe in.
I would recommend one of the following:
The Student Immigrant Movement (full disclosure: I'm on the board), which is helping DREAMers organize to protect DACA and one another: http://www.simforus.org
Kids in Need of Defense provides attorneys for minors in deportation proceedings who are eligible for Special Immigrant Juvenile status (a rare path to citizenship with several moving parts that most of us can't afford to do in full pro bono): http://www.supportkind.org
The National Immigration Law Center (http://nilc.org) was on the front lines of Drumpf's travel ban and has provided invaluable litigation support and resources for attorneys around the country.
Here in MA, the PAIR Project (pairproject.org) helps to set interested attorneys up with pro bono immigration cases while providing basic training and support for them. If you want to help, you may have a similar organization in your area that could use your time, money, and/or talents.
I just want to thank you guys from the bottom of my heart. You were the first concert my brother and I ever went to back in 99 I believe. I was 11 years old. After that I was inspired to start playing around on a Casio keyboard my mom bought me from a garage sale. Fast forward to now I'm still fiddling around with synthesizers and making music. Hearing you on CBC the other day excited me for the new music. Can't wait to see you on tour!!
If you could collaborate with anyone alive or dead who would it be?
Seems a bit mean for the US to have such stringent requirements when the UK accepts US teachers off the bat. You just apply for an equivalence recognition.
Then again, I suppose our teaching qualification is only a year.
Good question. I'd love to do a full score for a Wes Anderson film.
I should also add that when you are meeting with prospective lawyers, listen and watch their body language closely. Are they giving you a sales pitch and making impossible promises to try to get that retainer ("guarantees" and/or "percentages" are a bad sign), or are they giving you a straight answer--even if it's the one you don't want to hear?
I loved you guys back in the day and got a tape with all of your music videos for my birthday. I watched it so much to the point where it didn't work. Do you have any lying around that I could have?
Hello. My wife is Scottish and I am a US citizen. We got married in South Carolina about six months ago. We live on a cruise ship together and got married while she was on her valid C1-D visa before boarding the ship. We have submitted the I-130 paperwork and and listed her status as not in the country because we were on the ship at the time. We also submitted affidavits from family and friends.
Is there any reason we should run into problems getting married on the C1-D, or the fact that we don't have an addressed shared residence? Is there anything we should do to prepare for the hopefully approaching interview?
This is a little unusual, and there are a number of things you haven't told me here that I'd need to know before providing direct legal advice... which I really can't (and don't want to) do in this forum. You should be sure to consult with a qualified immigration attorney before filing and/or interview on this just to be totally sure, though.
I just bought the album from iTunes and would gladly buy it again if a physical CD was released. I have your other albums on CD and it feels wrong not adding this one to the collection that way! Perhaps a limited edition run, for those of us who still buy CDs?
You should definitely expense lunch. That is a no-brainer. You have a legal mind and a legal staff. If you can't remember to do it, delegate.
If your clients can't pay, consider having them contribute work. They can bring food, clean your workers' offices and home, garden, provide massage services to your staff, etc. or, if not arms-length enough, have them donate their labor to a local charity.
That said, if you haven't done it, consider working for a charity that can pay you.
Lastly, I've updated my notes on my stance against further immigration, and will update more later.
I just don't.... care? I guess? I know I should, but I don't. And yes, we've traded cleaning/painting/handyperson/food services for legal services in the past. It feels good to barter, as long as both parties come out feeling like they got comparable value from the exchange.
Given the total lack of state or federal grant money for this kind of thing mentioned elsewhere in this AMA, there are only a small handful of non-profits in my area (or anywhere) which can afford to have practicing immigration attorneys on staff. There are maybe 5-6 of these jobs total available in all of New England. I was actually just yet again discussing with a friend last night how we could formally convert this office to a non-profit, which is probably the more logical direction.
How does it feel now that your fans are now in their 30s and 40s? See you Sunday.
I did not mention the word refugee once in my post. You really a lawyer?
The main purpose of President Trump's travel hold was on immigration, not the refugee process (though it is included for Syria specifically).
You have still failed to answer my question. Why should we not implement a 90 day temporary hold on new immigrants from these countries that have issues with vetting?
I'll ask a follow up to that. Did you oppose President Obama when he implemented a 180 day ban on any immigrants from Iraq? That's twice as long as President Trump is proposing.
I would also like to give you a chance to provide a solution of your own, since you are against President Trump's solution. What do you think should be done to ensure we properly vet new immigrants to protect Americans?
It's a real validation for me that we did something that had an impact on a certain group of people that survived the test of time. Very grateful.
Both versions of the ban included a full suspension on all refugee admissions along with the visa bans. I don't feel like I want to continue this conversation unless we're talking about the same thing.
Also, the Obama Iraq suspension was in direct response to an actual known threat. There's nothing like that here, at all, and your summary of the issues with the current system is not an accurate reflection of the agreement of most experts.
I never imagined I'd ever see a new Prozzak album again, and couldn't be more thrilled about Forever 1999. It sounds great, thank you.
Can we expect more new Prozzak music in the future, or was this album your goodbye to your hardcore fans?
Do you think with this new administration, will the timetable for applying to be a citizen of you're a green card holder will be longer or shorter?
Not a goodbye at all! Simon and and Milo must live! I'm deep in the church of Simontology
I don't think it will change unless Trump takes steps to defund or scale back USCIS. This is certainly possible given that (no matter what he says) it is clear that he is also intending to limit legal means of immigration. But for the moment USCIS seems to be running as usual.
My brother and I grew up listening to your music (quite fondly while playing hours and hours of Goldeneye and Perfect Dark on the N64). We lived in a small town in BC, far from any major city, so we never had an opportunity to see you live.
Until of course last year when you guys performed at the Rickshaw in Vancouver! I'm proud to say I was able to get in on the first batch of tickets before they sold out because I'd only been waiting for this for a decade and a half :P and we're jazzed to see you guys again in April at the Commodore!
Now my question. It's been many a year since Milo and Simon were first created, and while we did see a slight style shift with Cruel Cruel World, so far you guys seem to be sticking with the original design and art. Has there been talks about updating the art, especially with the new album and a full tour? Not that I don't love you guys, but I do think there is an opportunity to bring them into the now and potentially even get new fans! I'm not sure if you guys have thought a lot about the future of Prozzak past this album and the tour, but just something that's been on my mind.
On a side note, as an artist, it's definitely been floating around my creative brain. Would you be interested if I managed to throw something together? I figure it's the least I can do for the years of awesome music and sibling bonding you provided <3 cheers and good luck on the tour!
For all I know (and for all you know) every single one of them is perfectly legal. It's not my job or concern to check their immigration status, any more than it is to check yours. They are my neighbors and entire families should not be living in a single room. I'd like to assist them if I can. Please post the rest of whatever you have to say in T_D as I'm sure this gentleman doesn't value you in his AMA.
thanks for those observations. We had overwhelming feedback from our fans that they identify with the look of the character's original design so that will remain consent as our music evolves.
All children deserve a safe and stable place to live. But there is no excuse for this kind of poverty in one of the world's most prosperous nations. Blaming immigration--especially immigration driven by our disastrous economic and foreign policy, and encouraged by employers relying upon an exploited underclass--for these problems doesn't seem like the best place to start for me.