Reflections on what has happened.
My original intent a few months ago was to start a small immigration law blog for my law practice's website. The ideas and topics discussed would be simple and straight forward for anyone confused by the immigration process. As you can see in the bio on this page, I am a solo practitioner focusing on immigration, but also doing some landlord/tenant, wills, and any legal work that piques my interest. You will also find that I have been, and continue to be, a Lieutenant with the Fire Department of New York City. I practice immigration law because it manages to be both intellectually stimulating and manageable with my schedule, along with the tremendous privilege of helping people. It should not surprise you, then, that the events of the last few days- that Donald Trump has been elected President- have led many clients, family members, friends and even adversaries to ask my thoughts and advice on how to proceed. What follows here are those thoughts on our situation:
First, and most important for immigrants, be very cautious and patient. Immigrants are notoriously taken advantage of, with frauds knowing the desperation many face in seeking a better life. There is no magic bullet, and no one knows EXACTLY what is coming in the next few months. Anyone who asks for your hard earned money while promising you anything is likely using your emotions against you. Find a reputable immigration attorney or organization who can give you honest answers; if you do not want to set up a consultation with a solo-attorney such as myself, you can contact me and I can show you organizations that can talk with you.
Second, Donald Trump has been elected President- not king. He does not have the power to make all the changes he has spoken about, at least not in the immediate future. A complicated separation of powers exists between the different branches of government. Furthermore, you are entitled to Due Process under the Constitution of the United States. There will be many lawyers, religious leaders, community members, and even members of his own political party who will be here fighting for you. His Presidency will only encourage us to fight harder. Do not become overcome by fear. There are thousands of lawyers, citizens, and politicians who will furiously fight for you. Remember that the vast majority of Americans do not support such a foolish immigration policy; in fact a majority did not even vote for him.
And lastly, for over a year, we have been bombarded by quotes, opinions, and news stories about immigrants as if they are lifeless statistics. Immigrants are not a piece of policy, a treaty, or a Supreme Court case- they are human beings, with lives, families, fears, and hopes. Do not ever forget your own humanity. As many people in this country now feel emboldened to express their hatred of the unknown, remember that history will laugh at their ignorance. This country moves very slowly in the direction of progress and acceptance.
This law practice is a business, albeit a small one. As a lawyer it is my job to find a client who needs help, and to use the law to fight on their behalf. I understand the obligations I have as a professional, but I am also a human being. If you want to contact me by phone briefly (718-679-4602) or email (email@example.com), to talk about your current immigration status, how I can help, or even what your thoughts and fears are, please, feel free to talk.