The Good Fight

“Ultimately, America’s answer to the intolerant man is diversity.”—Robert Kennedy

January 20, 2017 was the day I opened the doors of Rasoul Law Office. It was not a coincidence that it was also the day of the inauguration of Donald Trump. When I made the decision to start my own practice, I knew that I was entering a challenging time in my life and practice. Being primarily an immigration Attorney during these past four years was something I would not wish on anyone.

In general, attorneys choose to focus their practice on a limited scope of legal fields to minimize the relevant new laws, decisions, and policies they need to keep up with. This strategy did not work for those practicing immigration law in the United States during the Trump presidency. We woke up every day not knowing what new orders and changes were to be issued to make the lives of immigrants and their families more difficult.

The Trump administration, through the President, Attorney General, Homeland Security, and many other appointees, found joy in their continuous assaults on immigrants and the immigration system in its entirety. Attorney Generals Sessions and then Barr certified cases to themselves on regular basis and re-defined longstanding laws and policies as they wish. They were the Judge and Prosecutor at the same time!

On some days, I lost hope and contemplated changing the focus of my practice. I couldn’t handle seeing families being torn apart and spending fortunes in attempts to simply try to keep their home together. Somehow, I managed to pull myself together and fight vigorously for my clients and their families.

During the past four years, with the remarkable help of my assistants, we were able to represent hundreds of immigrants and unite many families. We were able to defeat the numerous travel bans in many cases and bring spouses, children, and parents of US Citizens to join them in the United States. We successfully helped many individuals in obtaining legal status and becoming lawful permanent residents. And best of all, we witnessed many of our clients take the oath of allegiance and become citizens of the United States of America.

I would like to thank each and every person who has placed their faith in me and my office. I am thankful for all my wonderful clients and their families for allowing me to be part of their life. 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.

As I celebrate this milestone in my life, the country celebrates a new beginning. We celebrate the end of a dark time that has impacted many lives. We can proudly stand up as Americans and tell the world that America welcomes immigrants from all backgrounds and cultures. The fight for equality and justice did not end, it is just beginning. At Rasoul Law office, we will always be part of this fight, the good fight.

One Year Anniversary

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.