It’s no secret that Thanksgiving 2017 comes at a time of great challenge and incredible distress for many immigrants and their families. The anti-immigrant rhetoric and scapegoating continually flowing out the Trump Administration is matched by its harsh and restrictive policies. The president cancelled DACA and Dreamers are now left counting the days until their protection against deportation expires. Those who have long legally resided in the U.S. with TPS are now seeing that status canceled and being instructed to prepare to leave the country. Employment-based green card applicants are now required to go to an in-person interview, which will further delay the already-backlogged processing of other types of applications. Employment-based visas which in the past would have been approved as a matter of course are being subjected to onerous requests for additional evidence with the apparent goal being to dissuade companies from using visa programs authorized by Congress. The Attorney General instructs immigration judges working under him that asylum claims are largely fraudulent while refugee admissions have been cut to historic lows. People who have long been allowed to stay in the United States with regular ICE check-ins are now being arrested and deported. And the list goes on and on.
Against this backdrop, I am more thankful than ever for past, present, and future immigrants in the United States. The talents, cultures, and drive of wave after wave of immigrants have made this country what it is. I’m more thankful than ever for the Dreamers, whose selfless activism provides daily inspiration. I’m more thankful than ever for a free and independent press, which regularly exposes the anti-immigrant voices pushing policy in this administration. I’m more thankful than ever for my fellow immigration and civil rights attorneys around the country battling and winning in court against the unlawful excesses of this administration. And I’m more thankful than ever to be able to come to work every day with a group of talented and dedicated colleagues committed to passionately and aggressively fighting for every one of our clients’ rights under the law.