Why Doesn't the Government Pay for Adobe?

As we enter into the month of July, I find it hard to believe that I have only worked at GAIN for one month. Even though I have plenty of moments where I find myself staring at a form or at an assignment with no idea of what I'm looking at, for the most part I feel like a real immigration attorney. I understand the immigration jargon and I'm comfortable asking questions about cases because I feel like I actually have a grasp on the situation.

This realization leads me to my story of the week. Although my internship has mostly consisted of asylum work, this week I worked on assignments for the Victims of Violence program. My task was to write a U-Visa Certification Request. This is a request from a law enforcement agency or prosecutor's office verifying that the U-Visa applicant has been helpful and cooperative in law enforcement investigations. For this particular case, we were writing a request for a client on behalf of his daughter. Because the daughter was a minor, the U-Visa application was being filed by the father with his daughter as a derivative. 

The crime committed against the daughter was statutory rape and the case was ongoing, so we did not have access to the police records. We sent the cert request to the District Attorney's office. The request itself is a downloadable form from USCIS. It consists of about four pages and is a very simple form. The first response from the DA's office was a request that we fill out the biographical information. She also seemed confused that we did not include any information about the case (even though, keep in mind, we do not have access to the police records). 

So, after filling out some basic information, I re-sent the form to the DA. The next day, she responded that she was unable to edit the form and asked if we could send it in a way that could be edited. I just do not understand why the DA's office does not have access to Adobe Acrobat - or any other kind of PDF-editing software - so that they can fill out forms. Out of all of the things that could make me angry about this line of work, I am unsure why the fact that the government cannot edit PDF's enrages me as much as it does. 

I think one factor leading to so much anger is that the DA already wanted us to fill out the form partially even though it is a very simple form. Then, she could not edit the form and needed us to solve that problem for her as well. Then, after requesting another editable form, she sent us a barrage of questions about the case and about why it was in the father's name instead of the daughter's and about what harm he had suffered. All of these points are irrelevant because the purpose of the cert request is just to confirm that the victim has been cooperative in police investigations. It just feels like the process is being made so much more complicated when the U-Visa process itself is already complicated enough. 

To circle back to the beginning of this, I feel like I truly know what I am doing because I was able to respond to all of her questions on my own. I did consult with the VOV paralegal before sending my final answers, but I knew all of the answers to her questions when she sent them.

We still have not received the cert request from the DA's office. We may never receive it. Some offices will receive the request and never respond to it, not even bothering to send a denial. But, after all this, I still do not understand why the government does not pay for Adobe.