January 20, 2018, marked the first anniversary at my New Location. My new office opened its doors on a historic, if deeply divisive, day — the day of President Trump’s inauguration. Although I started my law practice on November 16, 2015, I consider January 20, 2017 to be a significant day in my legal career.
Like most Americans, it was difficult for me to comprehend how Trump could be our new president. I was certain that his term in office would be challenging for so many in the United States and around the world. I was also certain that my clients, friends, family, and community would become a target of the Trump’s new administration. These certainties compelled me to open my new practice and to serve those in the community who would be hardest hit by Trump’s pledged agenda.
My intuition was correct. After just seven days in office, Trump signed an executive order with the first version of his Muslim ban. He attempted to ban immigrants from seven Muslim majority countries from entering the United States. This executive order directly targeted the majority of my clients and friends.
Luckily, the ban was, for the most part, unenforceable due to hard work of attorneys and activists across the country who immediately challenged the executive order. However, the practice of immigration law has changed dramatically during Trump’s presidency. While the actual laws and regulations remain the same, the enforcement and interpretation of the laws have changed.
Working in such an environment is stressful. However, watching our current president and his administration promote an anti-immigrant agenda gives me the determination to work harder to help my clients fight against these discriminatory policies.
I take every client’s case as a personal case. I build relationships with each client and their families throughout the long immigration process. I believe that this country has a deep, rich history of immigration. Immigrants come to the United States hoping to live the American dream. They bring with them their education, skills, culture, beliefs, and contribute significantly to this country. I believe that this tradition should be encouraged and supported.
The only thing Trump and I have in common is the date that we both moved into our new offices. I will continue to support immigrants and will continue to resist Trump’s oppressive policies.