Into the Labyrinth

August 5th, 2018

This is confusing, very confusing.

I have been slowly working on the take home exam from the class I took about immigration law. The questions all require short, but detailed answers. I really wonder if I will pass this test. It’s open book, but that fact is not much comfort. Finding the rules for a particular immigration issue is like entering a labyrinth. There are plenty of twists and turns, and many dead ends. It is easy to get lost and choose the wrong path. In a real life situation, the wrong answer could ruin somebody’s life. The Minotaur lurks in the details, hides among the statutes and regulations, and waits to pounce on the person who does not venture deep enough into the text.  This is a scary place.

It is frightening for a number of reasons. First and foremost, this is scary because so much is riding on it. People who walk into a non-profit, like Voces de la Frontera, with an immigration problem are usually worried. They don’t often come to visit just because they feel like saying hi. They come in because I.C.E. is breathing down their necks, and they don’t know what to do. They are hoping that somebody at Voces does know what they should do. At this point, I am not that somebody. I don’t know what they should do, and I cannot legally give them any advice. I don’t even know what questions to ask.

I ask myself how deep I want to get into to this maze. How much responsibility do I want? At my age, how much can I learn and utilize? Most of the thirty-eight people in the immigration law class were relatively young. They all have some experience in this area already, and they are eager to work as immigration layers or para-legals. I’m not young and I’m not going to be a lawyer. As I told the main instructor, “I’m retired. I’ve already had a career.”

The situation seems weird because I never requested to go to this class. I was asked by somebody else to join it. I said yes. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, and I still don’t. All I know is that it feels like I got on to a roller coaster, and now I can’t get off until the ride comes to a complete stop. Something beyond my control is now in motion. I find that disconcerting, and a bit exciting.

Is this a path I should follow? I have no idea. All I know is that I need to finish this take home exam. If I pass it, then I have more decisions to make. If I don’t, well, then immigration law is not my path.

I don’t know.



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