When I was young, I often wondered why my parents left their homes in India and in Pakistan. They told us that they wanted us to be able to have whatever we worked for, that they wanted us to dream any dream we wanted. I loved them for that, but when my family had trouble making money and when my parents stumbled on their English at parent teacher conferences, I could not help but think that the reality of my family could be no better than the reality of those neighbors and family members who chose to stay back home. It was difficult for them to be here. Perhaps, I’ve come to realize, because the American Dream is more of a mindset than it is any tangible reality. Immigrants’ financial need is separate from their want of the American Dream. The American Dream means living a life decided by merit, not by caste or race or religion. Having the American Dream means having the opportunity to try, and immigrants come to this country to be able to just try, to have a future not decided solely by circumstance. It is then that immigration attorneys become necessary to achieve this American Dream. So many different people pursue this American Dream–parents who seek to be reunited with parents, young students who wish to educate themselves further, couples wanting to live together as married couples, professionals who push themselves to develop their careers here. Each of them takes a different route to come to the USA. Immigration attorneys serve the purpose allowing immigrants to not be outsiders in America, for them to rather be official members of American fabric.
If an immigrant has been accused of a crime and he or she has made mistakes on their immigration forms, on accident or with intention to hide something, they risk deportation. I come from a community of Indian immigrants, many of whom’s family members are still in India, despite applying several times for visas. An immigration attorney is more easily able to locate the problem, and if people can rely on a professional to identify miscommunications in applications or blemishes which persons must correct, their immigration processes would be much easier. The immigration process is immensely complicated, with multiple routes to take in each problem one encounters and with considerable red tape surrounding background checks and professional / personal histories. An immigration attorney is not only recommended, but at times, necessary in the process.
Because I come from a community of immigrants and because most of the adults in my family are immigrants, I know that sometimes, it can be difficult to afford an immigration attorney. Because it seems scary or uncomfortable to spend money on a service people in my community believe they can do themselves, whether trying to sponsor an a citizen abroad to come here or whether sitting in a jail for having incomplete or faulty immigration papers, I have seen many people skip the step of taking an attorney to obtain a green card or citizenship in America. Instead, they get their information from each other, from they’ve read on fraudulent websites, from what they’ve seen on fantastical posts on Whatsapp. The information they obtain here is often flawed–I’ll give you an example. My community congregates in an Ismaili Muslim Jamat Khana. While there one night after prayers, my aunt asked someone how she might bring her father to America for her son’s wedding. He had been deported to India before, and she feared that he might not be able to come back. While consulting with this other person, she was told that he was not able to, under any circumstance come back, and that she should plan to have her son’s wedding in Pakistan. She was quite devastated, but she listened to this person who claimed he could not come back despite having no professional knowledge on the matter. Then, our Ismaili Jamat Khana hosted a lecture by an immigration attorney from our own community. There, my aunt learned that indeed she could bring her father here. She learned that when a person is deported, they are banned only for a certain amount of years before they can re-apply to enter legally. Her father was deported five years prior–she was indeed able to bring him back. Through this experience, my family learned the importance of an immigration attorney. We spend so much time cursing the immigration system for not giving our families what we want, but we must accept that this system, while imperfect, intends to protect and preserve the safety of the citizens of the United States of America. People who wish to immigrate here, to contribute and to participate in the American Dream, have an option of help. They can rely on immigration attorneys to guide them towards immigration legally and permanently to the United States of America.