The immigration law firms work in conjunction with the immigration courts to provide the courts with all the necessary paper works. In the United States, both the Immigration Courts and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) cannot function fully without the assistance from the immigration law firms. The law firms also act as the custodians for the citizens' documents in case they have any issues to do with immigration. Hence, it is very difficult to underestimate the role that the immigration law firms play in the American justice system. The immigration lawyers offer consultative services to the clients and document their other professional assistance when need be. Throughout this interaction, the lawyers coordinate together with other attorneys for the sake of the clients. Due to the massive interaction and much work to handle, these professionals have to engage in a very rigorous documentation, most of which involve paper works. One problem that emanates from too much use of paperwork is that when the clients occasionally come to see their attorneys, the paralegals do a lot of documentation and in the process, some documents get lost. This is most common when the clients bring documents in pieces. What follows is that these clients' cases drag while at the same time the clients delay the payments to the attorneys. "Our immigration courts are overwhelmed, with over 510, 000 cases pending..." (Harris, 2016). This is posing a serious challenge the immigration law firms because the immigration law courts have to blame them each time such an event occurs. Hence, it is important to update the documentation process by employing new databases and including more reliable checklists when doing the documentation.
Documentation is one of the most important aspects of management in any law firm. When clients entrust the immigration law firms with their issues, they expect that during the time of their cases in the immigration courts, they are able to retrieve them successfully. Failure to retrieve these documents causes a management crisis and professional breaches which mostly result in the dragging of the cases. Sometimes the clients go as far as applying for damages in case the file loses causes them significant damages. For instance, in the immigration firm where I am an intern, the organization handles such cases as deportation defense, international business, bond hearing, and family immigration. "Immigration judges make consequential decisions that fundamentally affect the basic life chances of thousands of noncitizens and their family members every year" (Ryo, 2016). Another case which is very sensitive is the adoption case, which requires a regular court attendance by the attorneys. During to this regular visit, a piece of paper may drop from the file and mix with the rest. This costs the firms and the professionals both time and resources to retrieve. Deportation cases are always very serious and to fully defend against these, the attorneys are always required to provide very many documents. The result is that there is an ease in the cases of the clients as the judges can easily go through the documents in time. "Attorneys can reduce the strain on overworked judges by helping to resolve cases more quickly" (Eagly & Shafer, 2015). The loss of one document may ruin the whole of the defense team's efforts. Hence, a proper way of managing documents must be in place to allow for a better manner in which they can be retrieved. When the client entrusts the paralegals with their cases and it turns out that they have messed out, the clients feel dejected and lose trust in the professionals of the firm.
The resolution is to come up with a more modern database which can allow for an immediate cross-checking of the documents received against their payment details. The reason is; many are times the paralegals find it difficult to distinguish the documents which are already paid for from those that are not yet paid for. Basically, the immigration firm must come up with a document management checklist which all the paralegals can access and use comfortably. This checklist is incorporated in the document management database to allow for an easier cross-checking and proper documentation and a weekly follow up by the paralegals. Today, there are a number of database management software that can ease even the paperwork in an immigration firm. If the firm adopts a comprehensive document management processes, it can easily influence the process of saving and retrieving documents by transforming the paper-intensive processes to turnkey. This, in effect, enables a streamline in the workflow and even smarter work experiences. Most importantly, it also helps in the time and financial management. The new database management system should be so simple that all the paralegals can easily handle it properly.
Being that the process will entail an introduction of a new technology, many paralegals will have to go through training before using it. This leads to time wastage and increased bulk of work among the remaining people. Basically, there are the hidden costs associated with this new comprehensive system. Among these are the financial costs of acquiring the program. A good document management program goes for up to $200, 000. This cost is enormous and may need a better financial planning before the acquisition. Another problem is that the process of transition from the traditional document management system to the modern one may lead to document losses and damages. This can also be accompanied by data breaches, which compromises the integrity of the information so stored.
One company that provides the most reliable document management database is Charlotte, N.C. This company has been serving the people of North and South Carolina states for quite a good time. For over thirty years, they have been specializing in document management systems and providing reliable solutions to the clients. Most importantly is that they can offer customizable document management systems. Alternatively, the secretariat can visit the offices of Paper Chase and get the most reliable information.
To fully implement this program, the first thing is for the immigration law firm to visit the company and explain the actual problem. This is because each database management solution depends on the existing problem. During the meeting with the service provider, the secretariat calculates the costs and maintenance fee as well as get the best-recommended system. After this recommendation, the chosen company will send specialized experts to the immigration firm to train the people who will be using the program. This will take place for as long as recommended by the experts. The program so recommended should be flexible enough to work with the finance department. The flexibility allows for the inter- departmental coordination since the finance departments must work together with the secretariat to maintain healthy records of finance as well.
The immigration law firms department gets income from the payment of the services delivered through the consultations and legal representations. The immigration courts also collect levy that helps them finance the activities of the immigration law firms. Hence, the two organizations can coordinate to strike a deal in which they finance the whole process of data management. Moreover, there are other philanthropic individuals who choose to facilitate the cases of detained immigrants. These philanthropists also work around the clock to ensure that the cases move from one stage to another so that the immigrants do not face illegal deportation. As a result, they marshal the funds to augment the budget of the immigration law firms. A good data management system costs at least $800 per month.
There are very few legal limitations of using the new database management system. If anything, it only augments a better service delivery in the justice system. The only legal implication can be available during the procurement in which the immigration firms will have to wait for approval of the budget by the relevant authorities. However, this program is legally accepted nationwide.
The current financial position of the immigration firm allows it to implement the project. Roughly, the whole industry of immigration law firms generates at least $5billion annually. This is a good revenue that can easily allow for a simple adjustment of the program to make the work in the industry a little easier. Moreover, the immigration department is increasing its income due to the rising cases of immigration. To effectively meet the increasing demand, it is only appropriate that the relevant firms adjust their working formula by adopting new technologies for managing data.
The political reality of this program in case it is implemented is that there will be a smoother flow of the cases of immigrants. As mentioned earlier, most cases of immigrants drag due to lost documents and poor filing that make it difficult to cross-check their payment details against their documents. This program will be a landmark in the immigrant cases, meaning that there will be better ways of handling immigration cases. Specifically, unlawful deportation cases will inevitably have to reduce significantly. Today, there is a backlog of immigration cases due to the documentation problems. Revolutionizing the database allows the firms to respond quickly to the political environment and effectively implement the most important policies in time.
Eagly, I. V., & Shafer, S. (2015). A national study of access to counsel in immigration court. U. Pa. L. Rev., 164, 1.
Harris, L. M. (2016). The One-Year Bar to Asylum in the Age of the Immigration Court Backlog. Wis. L. Rev., 1185.
Ryo, E. (2016). Detained: A study of immigration bond hearings. Law & Society Review, 50(1), 117-153.
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