Globalist Youth Apprentice Highlights: Defending yourself in U.S. Immigration Court

Somkenechukwu Ossai represented himself in U.S. Immigration court and won. (Photo by Damme Getachew)

This week, we’re highlighting our most memorable Youth Apprenticeship Program stories.

The U.S. immigration court and detention system can be a no-man’s-land. But Damme Getachew spoke to one man,  Somkenechukwu Ossai, who represented himself and beat the odds.

We’re waiting in a cold white room. Chris Bhang hits the buzzer for the third or fourth time, explaining that it usually takes a couple tries before an officer opens the door.

“I’m just hoping for the lowest penalty,” says Bhang, a lawyer at Ineo Law Group, a small Seattle immigration law firm.

We are mostly silent. After another ten minutes, an officer in a uniform with a GEO Group badge on the shoulder finally comes and lets us in.

We walk down a long, blank hallway. The officer opens a door on our right and all of a sudden we’re in the middle of a courtroom. The seal for the Executive Office for Immigration Review decorates the wall behind the judge.

This is U.S. immigration court.

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Long odds: Defending yourself in U.S. Immigration Court