We end 2018 and as we head into the new year, a little reflection is always a good thing. We can be thankful for many things. Some may ask how an immigration lawyer can be positive when the environment is so tough.
I don’t think it’s so hard. First, despite having the most anti-immigration President in modern US history who controls both Houses of Congress, we still have an immigration system that is functioning, albeit handicapped on many fronts. The US is still the destination for millions around the world and while denial rates are up, they are not up so much that people are not still able to navigate through the process.
Congress hasn’t given the President what he has sought on immigration. The fact that our government is currently shut down over border wall funding is good evidence of this. In fact, virtually no immigration-related legislation has passed since President Trump took office. The Administration has tried to push through dozens of measures administratively that would do what they can’t get done in Congress. But almost every measure has been challenged in the courts and the White House is losing on most. Even their one signature win – the upholding of the Muslim Ban in the Supreme Court – came after two earlier versions were withdrawn after being struck down by lower courts.
So, I thank first and foremost the resisters – the ACLU, the American Immigration Council, the American Immigration Lawyers, the state Attorneys General, the countless individuals who volunteered to protest, serve as plaintiffs, write checks and much more. Of course, my fellow lawyers who have transformed themselves into litigators deserve much thanks. And while they would probably not want to acknowledge their role, so many judges have stood firm in favor of the rule of law and have not allowed the Administration to push through measures imposed in the unlawful fashion that seems to become the norm.
And then there is the American people as a whole. A lot of us were very pessimistic after November 2016 about where the country was headed. Despite the alarming results, would people just roll over and accept the anti-immigration agenda that the Administration clearly wanted to impose? The answer has been a resounding no with public opinion only becoming more pro-immigration capitalized by a resounding win by the pro-immigration party taking back the House of Representatives in last month’s election.
Finally, I want to thank Andrew Bagley who does a great job helping get this newsletter produced every month. I also owe Ari Sauer and others who contribute to each issue.
We will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of this publication in a few months. It is the oldest electronic law firm newsletter in the world and a whole lot of people have helped in big and small ways over our quarter century online. I’ve been very, very fortunate.
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