Charles H (Chuck) Kuck is the managing attorney of Kuck Baxter Immigration in Atlanta, Georgia. Chuck served as the national president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association from 2008–2009. He also served as president of the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers from 2010–2014 and has been an adjunct professor of law at Emory Law School since 2013. He previously served as an adjunct at the University of Georgia for 13 years for both survey and advanced immigration law classes.
What do you enjoy most about your work as an immigration specialist?
I love the ability to “Make America” every day. Every time we win a victory for a client, whether it is obtaining a business or investment visa, reuniting a family, securing asylum relief, or even litigating in federal court to seek justice, every day brings a refreshed sense of accomplishment, even in the face of great adversity.
What is the key to corporate immigration practice under the Trump administration, and will said administration’s immigration policies continue to have an impact now it has failed to secure re-election?
There is only one key to a successful corporate immigration practice—the willingness and ability to litigate in federal court to fight against the illegal and incorrect decisions and policies emanating from the most Nativist Administration since Calvin Coolidge. Win or lose, overturning and undoing the nightmarish and frequently illegal polices of the Trump Administration has been our focus since January 2017. We knew it would be bad, and the past four years have lived up to every expectation we had, and more. But, even a change of administration will not solve the problems inherent in a broken immigration system. We need actual reform that is forward focused and good for America as a whole, economically, socially and politically.
What are some areas of increasing activity you have identified at your firm in terms of immigration?
While we have always litigated against the government agencies involved in the immigration process, the past year has led to a rapid increase in “mass” litigation, numerous plaintiffs joining together in the fight against a singular bad policy. We have also seen even solitary companies and beneficiaries willingly move forward in litigation to stop the erosion of their ability to seek relief under our immigration laws for themselves and their companies.
How has the pandemic affected clients, and what do you predict to be the long-term effects on your practice?
The pandemic has negatively affected many of our retail service clients, but positively helped our clients whose revenue derive from online activities, as well as in construction, farming and in service. We have also seen a willingness of clients to engage more online, using our web-based database services, and using Zoom, Skype and even Facebook and Twitter to communicate and move their cases forward. Our firm was already web based for all of our in-house processes, and many of our paralegals and attorneys were already capable of and actually were working from home for much of their work, so the immediate impact of not going to an office was minimal. Of course, because of the in-person nature of immigration court, a large part of that practice has stagnated, but it will return with a vengeance, once vaccines become viable, and with a massive backlog to deal with. Perhaps the biggest positive (yet negative) impact is that we have seen that we do not need so much office space! The downside being that that we signed a long-term lease in February 2020!
What is the greatest strength of Kuck | Baxter Immigration as a firm?
Our greatest strength is our ability to holistically approach an immigration case. Because we are a “full-service” immigration boutique practice, we can assist corporate, business and investor clients with the “normal” immigration processes. But we bring added value. We have experts in crimmigration law (people do get in trouble sometimes); we handle thousands of family-based cases each year; we represent people seeking asylum and relief from removal; and we have three decades of experience litigating in federal court. Few firms can offer what we offer – the complete immigration solution for every client.
As a founding member and former president of the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers (ABIL), what are the goals of the organisation and how has it enhanced your practice?
ABIL has been foundational for our members. Initially formed as a practice management roundtable for managing partners to share ideas and best practices, it has developed into a strategic alliance of the best immigration law firms in the United States and the world. A vast resource for our clients to access to solve any type of immigration problem anywhere in the world. ABIL has made Kuck Baxter Immigration a global practice.
You have enjoyed a very distinguished career so far. What would you like to achieve that you have not yet accomplished?
There is one thing that many lawyers want – I want to be a part of restructuring of our immigration laws. Today we are practising under 20th Century laws in a 21st Century economy and social structure. At a certain point the system will actually break and become completely dysfunctional. President Trump has done his best to make that happen. Now Congress has to pick up the pieces and instead of gluing it back together, we need to throw it out, and start from scratch to create a system that serves America, our economy, our society, our families and our international responsibilities.
What advice would you give to someone looking to start their own firm?
Wow. I could write a book about this answer (and probably should, but who has time?). The keys to a successful career and to a successful law firm are simple — knowledge and service. If you know the law in all its intricacies, you can solve problems no one else can. If you provide excellent service to clients, the firm then will create itself. Immigration law is immensely rewarding. Helping people all day fix the most important problems in their life to create a new future for them and their families – who else does that?
Charles Kuck is "a leader in immigration litigation", with over 30 years' experience of complex matters including EB-5 visas and labour certifications.
Charles H (Chuck) Kuck is the managing attorney at Kuck Baxter Immigration in Atlanta, Georgia. Mr Kuck served as the national president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association from 2008 to 2009. He also served as president of the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers from 2010 to 2014 and is currently an adjunct professor of law at Emory Law School, where he teaches the advanced immigration law classes. He previously served as an adjunct professor at the University of Georgia for 13 years for both survey and advanced immigration law classes. He was named one of the top five immigration attorneys in the world by Chambers and Partners again in 2020, the “best lawyer-immigration” in Georgia by Best Lawyers in 2020 and was previously named one of the “100 most influential Georgians” by Georgia Trend magazine. He has practised immigration law for 30 years, has spoken to numerous legal and business conferences on all types of immigration-related topics, has testified in Congress on various aspects of immigration law and immigration reform, is frequently quoted in the national press, and appears regularly on national and local television and cable news outlets. Most recently, Chuck was extensively quoted in the press as the immigration attorney for 21 Savage.
A full-service immigration law practice, featuring a dozen deeply experienced immigration attorneys, Kuck Baxter Immigration LLC is nationally and globally recognised with decades of experience. It represents employers and investors in work and EB-5 investment visas; defending employers against Immigration and Customs Enforcement I-9 investigations, and Department of Labor H-1B and PERM audits and appeals; and assisting individuals and families with their immigration issues. Aside from its reputation for zealous and expert representation of clients, what sets Kuck Baxter Immigration apart is the firm’s community leadership, public advocacy and willingness to take the forefront in key legal battles that affect immigrants and employers nationwide. Lawyers at the firm have extensive knowledge of immigration law, remain active in shaping our laws at the congressional and state level, and frequently interact with federal and state officials on immigration legislation and regulations, staying current on changes in laws and trends in the market.