From the statements Cruz makes about this, there is no doubt that Cruz knows how to handle his self when these occasions come up. This is probably why Cruz can make the statement that he has never found his self in a compromising situation.
Cruz does not take cases where he believes the client is going to cause harm to another individual(s). Cruz has made the statement, too, that most of his clients are not violent, but victims of a system and structures, on both sides of the border, hat do not facilitate the human needs. Cruz is a humanitarian, and we see this in his work. He is a member of many humanitarian organizations within the community, and he says he usually has at least two to three pro bono cases going on at the same time.
If Cruz finds that it would facilitate and validate a client's case to make contact with persons in their life on behalf of them - because domestic violence allegations or charges are often thwart with emotion - he will make that contact and assess on behalf of the client whether or not it would benefit the client's case to have that person from their past or in their life come forward. There is nothing unethical about this. In fact, some people might suggest that Cruz goes above and beyond the level that many attorneys go in representing his clients.
The client-attorney relationship is an important one, and infringement of that relationship is a violation of a person's rights. Cruz reviews the work of clients who have had other attorneys work on their cases, and he often finds problems with the work of his predecessors. This is not a comfortable situation, but practicing law and taking clients, whether or not they are pro bono, or not, means giving that client the best and most competent representation possible. If he finds work that has been handled badly, which always causes a person to incur a legal liability that is not fair given that the person sought and received representation; then Cruz feels he is not only taking the right action on behalf of the client, but that it is a wake up call to report the prior attorney to the bar. That is a serious move, and not one that an attorney makes happy or even comfortable, but it is one that is necessary, because people are harmed by poor representation practices.
Cruz believes that using the system to allow the client as much time as possible to remain in the country is a good thing, and indeed it is. Over the years, the immigration laws and opportunities for amnesty have been presented to illegal immigrants without a great deal of fanfare or forewarning. It is not an unethical strategy, nor an illegal one. In fact, Cruz is working the system in the way that it is designed to be worked. He must, however, prepare a client to face the ultimate event of being forced to leave the country if that becomes the decision of the court. It is an emotional event, and one that requires advance preparation. Once removed, it can also cause re-entry into the country to become a more difficult process, if possible at all, for the client. So this process really does require the expertise of a lawyer who is not just familiar with the laws, but who stays abreast of the changes in the law.
Cruz attends courses and receives continuing legal education (CLE) credits. This means that his clients are getting the best possible representation, with the most current law at their disposal when they are represented by Cruz. This is a reflection of personal integrity, and a sign that Cruz wants to provide the best service to his clients. The immigration laws are complicated, and there are frequent changes and updates. A lawyer owes it to his clients to be aware of what the changes are, and how he or she can use those changes to the client's benefit.
The most obvious indication of Cruz's dedication to his clients is that he is an advocate for immigration law reform. Cruz understands that there is, first, a great temptation represented by the United States and the liberties and economics that entice people across the southern border illegally. The differences between the economic disparities of people living south of the border vs. those that live in the states, proves more than most people who long for an improved life for themselves and their families are able to resist. Unfortunately, under the immigration laws, people must be able to prove that they are suffering persecution on the basis of the rights afforded Americans: religious, political, or social. Economic disparity and lack of opportunity are not reasons for asylum in the United States.
Cruz, because of his ethnic background, can relate to the plight of the Hispanic people he represents. His empathy should not be misconstrued to mean that Cruz is either economically or socially a contemporary of the people he represents. It does suggest, however, that Cruz understands that, like him, their greatest chance to seize an opportunity to achieve the heights of their aspirations is to remain in America where they have access to education and work to sustain while they are educating themselves. Empathetic though he may be of the circumstances that lead them to request his services, Cruz has pursued the education and acquired the tools that allow him to personally move and manage his own life within the realms of the higher aspirations. He should not be taken advantage of, or expected to give more than he is qualified or capable of on a pro bono or paid service arrangement.
When Cruz speaks of his own expertise, it is with both a pride in his achievements of having become a lawyer, and in his pride in his work, which he pursues armed with his education and knowledge of the law. That he is a man who understands the value of working with others and proving himself reliable and trustworthy should not be mistaken for a willingness to manipulate the law illegally. As Cruz has made sure to say to the interviewer, he is not interested in compromising that which he has earned for his self in the way of his right to practice law, or the recognition he has earned amongst his peers in order to commit fraud or an illegal act. The law, as Cruz describes it in the interview, allows him a great breadth of leeway in the work that he does, and to use it to the fullest extent possible, and within the limits of the law, is not a bad or illegal thing.
If Cruz practiced his law in a manner other than consistent with the rules of the government and the legal community of which he was a part of, he would quickly lose the respect that the community has for him. He would jeopardize being prosecuted for anything he was found to do that was illegally, or disbarred for anything that he did that would be against the legal ethics and governance of his profession. Cruz understands that it is difficult, sometimes impossible for the people he represents to work the expense of legal counsel into their budget - especially since those people who might be illegal immigrants are already working for low wages, usually in an effort to protect their illegal status and to stay as much out of the eye of the law enforcement and the system as possible. Illegal immigrants often live a frightened life, and one that keeps them worried about remaining in the country.
The immigration system is not designed to go on the hunt for illegal immigrants. It relies on the system that is in place for employment, income reporting, and other social structures to cause the illegal immigrants to have to be discovered, reported, and then removed from the country. Appeals, however, can mean the person who is arrested or detained can remain in the country for years while the appeals are being processed within the Immigration Courts. For these reasons, Cruz is empathetic of what the immigrants coming before the courts must endure in their efforts to remain in the United States.
What we can learn from Cruz's interview, is that the pursuit of that which is meaningful to us in our profession helps us find rewards in our work that sustains us on a personal level. Our work then becomes more meaningful to us, and, in the case of Cruz's immigration work, to the people he represents. Cruz is a man who must feel very grateful for the opportunities and life he has had, because he has manifested that in an almost religiously faithful way in giving back to his community…