Lawyers Expecting Exec Amnesty to Improve Business

REUTERS/Jason Redmond
REUTERS/Jason Redmond

Immigration attorneys in some parts of the country are expecting business to improve because of President Barack Obama’s executive amnesty.

In Nebraska and Iowa, law firms and legal clinics are reportedly hiring more immigration attorneys, expecting an influx of business once illegal immigrants can apply for executive amnesty later this year.

According to an Omaha World-Herald report, “immigration attorneys have been bracing for an influx of business” after Obama’s executive amnesty announcement:

Lori Chesser, an immigration lawyer in Des Moines, is holding screening appointments, plans to work with the Diocese of Des Moines to spread information and foresees increased interest now that the holidays are over. Omaha immigration lawyer Ross Pesek has hired another assistant, rented additional office space and purchased more computers and desks. He plans to host informational sessions with a church in Sioux City and an Omaha real estate agent.

Some immigration legal services providers in Nebraska and Iowa worry that what little staff they have now will be overwhelmed as immigrants seek guidance to apply for temporary deportation relief.

Firms in the area are also “planning informational sessions, creating fliers, warning against fraud by unqualified attorneys who demand money upfront and looking for volunteers to help spread the word in the coming months about the new programs, including in western Nebraska, where help is limited.”

After Obama’s announcement, waiting lists for legal aid clinics reportedly quadrupled and agencies like “the Center for Legal Immigration Assistance in Lincoln hopes to add six positions to its four-person staff.”

Nebraska, as the World-Herald notes, “is one of 24 states that have signed onto a lawsuit to challenge Obama’s executive action,” and there are reportedly 19,000-25,000 illegal immigrants in Nebraska who may qualify for Obama’s executive amnesty.

An assistant dean at the University of Nebraska College of Law told the outlet that law firms have already been reaching out to her school for potential immigration attorneys.

“The need is going to be so great, they will be open to students straight out of law school,” Tasha Everman said. “It’s a great opportunity for our students to enter the field of immigration.”