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Thread: the efficiency and knowledge of BCIS

  1. #1
    So, here I am in my terrible predicament... but there are some interesting tidbits I have learned about BCIS/USCIS during this process. I just thought I would share.

    1. The district director (of BCIS) for a great deal of at least one continent, has a very strong accent. (Nothing against people with accents, I was just surprised to learn that the person that is deciding who can immigrate to the USA most likely does not speak English as his first language... and I do wonder how that would affect interpretations of the law... I mean I am pretty fluent in my second language, but I don't know if I would presume to interpret laws in that language!!) But then again this wouldn't concern me that much except -

    2. He does not know who Madeleine Albright (former secretary of state) or Paul Virtue (former Acting executive commissioner of INS) are.

    3. I managed to reach the congressional liasion office for BCIS. I also managed to talk to a senior officer, who said she would make an exception and would speak to me, although I am not from a congressional office. After listening to my question she informed me that she did not know the answer to my LEGAL question and did not know who would know the answer... "perhaps our lawyers would, but they wouldn't speak to you because you are their enemy"

    Yes, she actually said enemy.

    4. I have contacted nearly everyone humanly possible, from congressmen, to senators offices, to the department of state, to DHS - policy, congressional liason, etc.

    And it appears that NOBODY actually knows what the law says. Nobody can give a definitive interpretation of the law. And nobody can tell me who can give an answer to a legal question.

    Kinda scary isn't it?

    Oh by the way... if you are ever sent to the El Paso immigration office... there is no room 108 (regardless of what your letter says!)



    just thought I would share!!!

  2. #2
    So, here I am in my terrible predicament... but there are some interesting tidbits I have learned about BCIS/USCIS during this process. I just thought I would share.

    1. The district director (of BCIS) for a great deal of at least one continent, has a very strong accent. (Nothing against people with accents, I was just surprised to learn that the person that is deciding who can immigrate to the USA most likely does not speak English as his first language... and I do wonder how that would affect interpretations of the law... I mean I am pretty fluent in my second language, but I don't know if I would presume to interpret laws in that language!!) But then again this wouldn't concern me that much except -

    2. He does not know who Madeleine Albright (former secretary of state) or Paul Virtue (former Acting executive commissioner of INS) are.

    3. I managed to reach the congressional liasion office for BCIS. I also managed to talk to a senior officer, who said she would make an exception and would speak to me, although I am not from a congressional office. After listening to my question she informed me that she did not know the answer to my LEGAL question and did not know who would know the answer... "perhaps our lawyers would, but they wouldn't speak to you because you are their enemy"

    Yes, she actually said enemy.

    4. I have contacted nearly everyone humanly possible, from congressmen, to senators offices, to the department of state, to DHS - policy, congressional liason, etc.

    And it appears that NOBODY actually knows what the law says. Nobody can give a definitive interpretation of the law. And nobody can tell me who can give an answer to a legal question.

    Kinda scary isn't it?

    Oh by the way... if you are ever sent to the El Paso immigration office... there is no room 108 (regardless of what your letter says!)



    just thought I would share!!!

  3. #3
    That is interesting info. I find it very disconcerting that a USC would be called "the enemy" when trying to get an answer regarding a legal issue, whatever the subject is.

  4. #4

  5. #5
    Thanks for sharing that with us Spouse.

    Glad to know such competant people run BCIS.

    Even a MONKEY knows who Madeleine Albright is.
    Sweet Madame Belu

  6. #6
    This is so true.

    I just don't understand why I can get better service at Mcdonald's than when I call the damn consulate with a question.

    The best is when the put you on hold for 20 mins, only to hang up ,you try again, but the operator this time says "the person is not in" DUH, then why hell put me on hold the first time...

    or the rare rare time I talked to an American (though he was just a phone technician, still don't know why I was transferred to him..) tells me, that 99% of the department is manned by "locals".

    GOOD GOD

  7. #7
    the further I get into it, the more amazed I am....

    My legal question is relatively complicated, but it basically involves the terminology "without being admitted", which can be translated (according to law) as "without inspection". Therefore, all I want to know is whether "without being admitted" can be applied (correctly) in any way shape and or form to a person that attempted to enter WITH inspection (i.e. via a port of entry).

    It seems pretty clear to me that it could not... but, well, it appears that immigration and DOS are having a much harder time deciding this.

    If you ever want a good laugh call the 1-800 number with a mildly complicated question and ask it to an officer. 90% of them will avoid the question or answer it in a totally bogus manner, the other 10% (whom I really appreciate) will say they don't know.

    But my friends story about the non-existent room in El Paso was one of my all time favorites.

  8. #8
    Its not that simple, their answer has various legal implications depend on the wording, because there're many people that will try to take advantage of it and twist it to fit their needs. (why else do you think legal documents are soo long and writen in such cryptic manners?)

    As for your original question, I can easily argue that the phrase "without being admitted" can be easily applied to a person who attempted to enter the US with inspection, but in turn was turned down. Of course, we'll need to see the wording of the document first, and I don't expect anyone in USCIS to memorizes their thousands pages guidelines anyway (heck, they can't remember the fact for basic question).

  9. #9
    I do not think anyone should memorize lines of information. However, BCIS should have some basic departments with people responsible for understanding certain parts of the law.

    I realize my question is complicated, but someone somewhere should be able to tell me what the intent of the law was... or to tell me SOMETHING. What I didn't mention is that during my initial conversation with the senior officer in the congressional liasion office, she thought I was talking about the 212(a)(9)(B)... and I had to explain the difference between these two sections to her.

    In my opinion, you cannot apply that "without being admitted" to a person that entered with inspection because of INA section 101(a)(13)(A)... UNLESS there is some type of precedent. I have not been able to find one, and the people I have talked to.... well they are too confused to even know who or where I would be able to find a precedent if it exists. I acknowledge I could be wrong, but if I am wrong, shouldn't someone be able to tell me? Or is it really just left up to the personality and mood of the person reviewing the case?

    I mean this is a law... there should be some guidelines (and those guidelines should be better understood by someone in BCIS - such as a judge, then they are by laypeople such as myself...)

    I am completely aware of the fact that my question is complicated, which is why I am going to higher levels with this particular question... but it is still very disturbing to me that there are no lawyers/judges employed by the INS that can clarify laws... in some way shape and/or form.

    I mean these laws exist... so someone has to know something, but do I really have to track down the person that wrote the law in the first place? Maybe if I do, I will only find that that person really doesn't understand what they wrote.

    The term "admitted" is so commonly used that it is in the definition section of the immigration and nationality act... how can this question be SO complicated?

    I don't expect someone to memorize it all... but for example couldn't there be 1-3 people that specialize in the INA 212 sections... and know pretty much everything about them, and nothing about the other sections?

    Is this too much to ask? How can an BCIS judge make a decision if they cannot access pertinent information?

    Whoops sorry, I am ranting and raving with frustration. I am just sooo tired of dealing with people that don't know basic things. People that are making decisions on cases without understanding the law (or knowing who Madeleine Albright is...)

    Maybe I should just offer more BCIS employees bananas before I begin the conversation... perhaps that would motivate them to learn the law!

  10. #10
    It'd be easier if the law was just the law as it is written. But it involves rulings, etc. that have occurred since the law was written. Could that be a reason why it's hard to get definite answers sometimes? Sounds to me like some of these people need to be trained in how to field questions. They might not be able to give any more definite answers than they do now but they should be able to explain WHY they can't.

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