Posted on: December 2nd, 2019
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Dear Readers:

Most of you will be reading this around Thanksgiving and we at Siskind Susser wish you the best for this very American holiday. Thanksgiving is a good time for reflection. Thanksgiving is, in many respects, a holiday about immigration. The Pilgrims were refugees who were fleeing religious persecution in England and found a haven in Massachusetts. The holiday also celebrates the welcoming they got from the Native American population. We can certainly draw parallels to today. The holiday is also about being grateful and even though these are depressing times for those who believe a smart, generous immigration system is good for America, there are reasons to give thanks.

Despite relentless efforts on the part of the Trump Administration to dramatically curtail immigration in nearly every category and to strip immigrants of most of their rights, advocacy groups and individual lawyers have challenged nearly every one of these moves. Congress hasn’t passed legislation authorizing any of these changes and the Constitution still has meaning so judges have been largely sympathetic to the plaintiffs in most of these lawsuits. Even the eventual Supreme Court loss in the travel ban case followed two major revisions scaling back the Administration’s efforts after previous losses in the courts.

We can also be thankful that despite the President’s appointment of a number of virulently anti-immigrant officials to senior immigration agency positions, there are so many of the thousands of non-political employees of US Citizenship and Immigration Services, Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the State Department and the Department of Labor who are trying their best to keep their heads down and do their jobs fairly. On the legal immigration side of the ledger, cases are still getting approved. Certainly, denial and RFE rates are up. But I don’t believe that we’ve seen the dramatic drop in immigration that the Stephen Millers in the Administration were hoping.

When it comes to the border, certainly the news has been depressing and relentless. But despite this, we can be thankful that some agency officials are acting as whistleblowers like the asylum officers who made news last week for going public with complaints of illegality in asylum processing.

We can also give thanks to the many Americans who are volunteering to help immigrants. This includes people in communities across the country who are donating to immigrant assistance organizations and volunteering their time to help immigrant families, who are showing up to protests and rallies, who are going down to the border and helping out with providing humanitarian relief and who are working to elect pro-immigration candidates.

As always, we remind you that if you would like to schedule a call to discuss a potential matter, please feel welcome to go to



Greg Siskind

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