Being an immigrant is a sign of strength. It is to cross to the other side, many times, not looking back. It is to transform oneself, is to know thyself, it is to improve yourself. For the immigrant there is no other choice, but to adapt. To adapt is to survive, and to survive is to be strong.
The power of survival is not measured by physical strength, race, creed, color, sex, or sexual orientation. The power of survival is measured by the most resilient, the most persistent, the most perseverant. Waterloo and Stalingrad were lost by the failure to adapt to the cold weather and other harsh conditions, not due to lack of strength. To be strong is to be determined to succeed. However, to succeed is to adapt, and to adapt in the most swiftly form: to the extent that you become part of the thing you set yourself to adapt towards.
((The true immigrant learns the language of the new country, without forgetting the one left behind)). The true immigrant pledges allegiance to the flag he chooses, not always to the one he was wrapped around when he was born. He must always remember: his land is the land that provides for him and his family. The true immigrant adapts to the land and the ones whose inhabited that land before them, as the ones before them had done.
Being an immigrant is going to hell and back. It is to understand the true meaning of the word: 'sacrifice'. Being an immigrant is to learn how to detach and to embrace. It is learning new laws and new cultures. It is to bring your culture over to enrich those around you, not to bring your beliefs to destroy or affect those around you. The true immigrant is not only a refugee or escapee, but also an adapter. He endures, but he comes in peace. He embraces and loves his new country and he acknowledges that the old one is now his second nation. It takes a strong person to do this. It takes love and pride.
The best way to show the love for your new country is to show that you are not a foreigner, but a learner, and that you are going to become a law-abiding citizen. Immigration should bring the best of everywhere. The true immigrant knows that he will offer the best to the country, which he is now becoming part of. He must sacrifice and never give up. The true immigrant never gives up. He gives his life for the country that feeds him and his family. He becomes one with the country. By becoming one with the country, the country becomes stronger.
The true immigrant is a patriot of the country he immigrated to, not only of the country he emigrated from. He must be courageous and brave and, if necessary, fight to protect the country he adopted, even if against the country he left behind. Being an immigrant is doing the most courageous thing. It is doing what few had the courage to do. Leaving behind part of your heart. Being a true patriot is not always doing what is politically correct, but doing what is correct regardless of politics.
The true immigrant is strong and does not depend on others, but sometimes has others depending on him. He does not depend on the government, but helps the government and honors his obligations, so he can enforce his rights. He, who never met a strong person, never met a true immigrant.
The unauthorized practice of law in New Jersey is a crime under 2C:21-22. However, the prosecution and punishment of this crime is rarely enforced. The Supreme Court of New Jersey and the prosecutors’ office are, in theory, supposed to prosecute those crimes. In reality, these “practices” are not prosecuted unless fraud is involved. Fraud deriving from practice of law will only be prosecuted if it has been performed systematically. In order for the fraud to be detected, a high amount of immigrants or defrauded persons have to report a particular person or entity at the same time.
Thus, in New Jersey, there are many people and entities whose are neither qualified nor licensed actively engaging in what is called among lawyers Unauthorized Practice of Law without impunity. These are the “so called” “notarios”, “consultants”, “professors” or “tax preparers.” These criminals are most often under-qualified, lie about their credentials and do not have degrees of any kind and do not compare to a highly trained and learned juris doctor.
The City of Newark has unfortunately become a paradise for fraudsters practicing law without a license. Once known as a “sanctuary city” for immigrants to live and work, it has become a “paradise” for the one who defrauds them. Many of the fraudulent cases against illegal immigrants go unreported, because illegal immigrants are usually too afraid to make a complaint or press charges.
In addition, a lot of Americans believe that going to a non-lawyer is cheaper and less cumbersome than going to a real qualified lawyer. It is a myth that “notaries”, paralegals, travel agencies, “professors” and “legal consultants” can save you a few bucks: in reality, many of them charge more than attorneys since they do not have to follow the lawyer’s price guidelines. There are many advantages of using an attorney:
First, an attorney can be checked to see whether he or she is licensed to practice. Behind that license, there are years of high training in a law school and passing the bar exam, a gruesome and difficult exam used to ensure lawyers who passed have a minimum of competency to handle any legal matters. Non-attorneys have never been tested nor approved. Non-lawyers lack almost entirely any knowledge of substantive and procedural laws, and go by their “best guess”.
Second, with a true lawyer, a person has the right to ask for the attorney’s license number and credentials. Lawyers can nowadays be easily verified online and searched to see whether they have been suspended, disbarred etc. Non-lawyers don’t have any credentials and many often lie or exaggerate their credentials. Some of these non-lawyer criminals often state that they have credentials “in their country.” These foreign diplomas are harder to be checked by the average immigrant and some “credentials” are often faked.
Third, a good lawyer has a motive in keeping his license in good standing and the pride to provide services under a high level of ethical and skillfulness: years of study, hard work, and personal sacrifice. Attorneys are highly regulated by the Supreme Court, unlike the non-licensed person. Thus, with a true lawyer, there is a high level of accountability, whereas with a non-lawyer there is not.
Finally, a true experienced lawyer can give the client a fair and accurate prediction of the outcome of the case, without making any guarantees. Non-lawyers practicing law generally make glorious promises which they absolutely will not honor, since all they want is to take the client’s money regardless of any outcome. In fact, going to these legal “consultants” is more or less like going to a casino: you’ll lose your money and seldom achieve the results you wanted. With an experienced lawyer he or she can at least tell you a probability to win or lose your case. With a lawyer is more like playing chess than Russian roulette. With someone unauthorized to practice law, you are playing Russian roulette.
Another problem is that “cutting corners” and using a non-lawyer to do your legal work is detrimental to the local economy. Attorneys, like anyone else, need clients to support themselves and their families, pay their student loans etc. Going to a non-lawyer causes a terrible economical unbalance in the community. It weakens the amount of competition amongst lawyers in the community because many of them move away to areas where their services are sought and appreciated. This actually lowers the quality of the legal services offered by the lawyers in that particular area. In addition, most lawyers pay taxes and are highly scrutinized by the IRS, whereas these “tax preparers” and “notarios” do not pay taxes or under-report their gains, so the local economy and the community suffers.
A well-known quotation from William Shakespeare’s play Henry VI, Part 2 says: “Let’s kill all the lawyers.” This quotation has a complex meaning subject to hundreds of interpretations. In fact, it has been interpreted to be in praise of the lawyers, in their honor, showing that without lawyers a civilized system would collapse.
In Newark, the Ironbound, and all other areas in New Jersey, legal consultants and “notarios” are doing just that what Shakespeare stated: killing all the lawyers; killing them all economically and professionally. Many authorities, prosecutors and politicians do nothing regarding such a shameful situation. In the end, however, the private citizen or the immigrant looking for a good lawyer is the one who ends up legally “dead.” And the local economy and the legal profession is the one that suffers.