Forensic psychologists hired by an immigration attorney can serve as an “Expert Witness” and conduct evaluations in this context to determine the degree of “hardship” that would ensue if the person is deported.
Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB) February 18, 2014
HealthForumOnline (HFO), a nationally-approved (APA, ASWB, NBCC, CA-BBS) provider of online continuing education (CE) is pleased to announce a new course entitled, The Psychologist’s Role as Expert Witness in Immigration Cases, to its extensive online CE resource library for psychologists, social workers, counselors, and other allied healthcare professionals.
In 1996, then President Clinton signed into law legislation that made it more difficult to obtain lawful permanent residence by obtaining a “green card,” as well as raised fees and civil and criminal penalties for violating the law. Immigration laws and immigration reform remain in the forefront of discussions in the United States Congress. The passage of time has also seen an increasing presence of the psychologist as an “expert witness” in Immigration cases and reflects an emerging field within forensic psychology.
Forensic psychologists hired by an immigration attorney can serve as an “Expert Witness” in cancellation of deportation cases. The psychologist’s role in conducting evaluations in this context is to determine the degree of “hardship” that would ensue if the person is deported. Hardship is a multi-factorial concept that can be viewed on a continuum, ranging from ordinary hardship, exceptional hardship, exceptional and extreme hardship, extremely unusual hardship or to the greatest hardship (e.g., asylum seekers). This determination involves several issues, such as: cultural and language differences; psychological stressors in the deportation hearing process and distress from the potential relocation to another country. Moreover, typical cases extend beyond the direct hardship to the individual seeking cancellation of deportation to include impact on their spouse and/or children.
Specific services rendered by the forensic psychologist may include: ongoing consultations with the attorney; history taking/record reviews; direct psychological assessment of the person seeking cancellation of removal and/or assessment of family members; provision of written psychological reports, that include documentation of pertinent factors in the persons history and current functioning and in person or telephonic expert witness testimony at the Federal Court hearing. However, the forensic psychologist’s role has limits and responsibilities and requires adherence to ethical standards to guide the forensic psychological evaluation and the provision of testimony in court. Moreover, mental health professionals in this line of work must be informed about political trends and current immigration cancellation and deportation laws to best consult, assess, report and provide expert witness testimony at the Federal level.
This online CE course discusses the psychologist’s role as an expert witness in immigration cases. A review of the psychological criteria for cancellation of deportation cases, along with legal format and related issues, is provided. Particular attention is paid to the psychological assessment of “exceptional hardship” in immigration cases involving appeal for cancellation of deportation. Ethical and forensic guidelines for the psychologist’s relationship with attorney and the court are discussed including the psychologist’s assessment process and the format for making recommendations to the Court.
Psychologists, social workers, counselors, and other allied health professionals can chose from HFO’s 20 categories of continuing education (CE) topics related to health psychology and behavioral medicine containing over 90 online CE courses that are fast, convenient and cost-effective. For more information on this course or a complete listing of titles in our online CE resource library, visit HealthForumOnline.com.
HealthForumOnline (HFO) is approved as a provider of CE courses by the American Psychological Association, the National Board of Certified Counselors, the Association of Social Work Boards, and the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. HFO’s CE Program’s Advisory Committee and authors are comprised of over 65 nationally-recognized experts in behavioral medicine.