I believe that the Christmas story is not only about Jesus, but also about hope. Hope for a better future, hope for peace, and hope for compassion and kindness. Hope is a big part of my philosophy as an immigration attorney. People come to the United States with grand hopes – exactly the same hopes that I associate with the Christmas holiday. My job is to take these hopes and help turn them into the American Dream for each of our clients.
Although I’m not Catholic, Pope Francis did a great thing earlier this month that shows the tie between Christmas and Immigration. At the Vatican, he gave Christmas presents to 2,000 immigrants. The gifts included a Christmas card, postal stamps, and pre-paid phone cards. Though borders and oceans may separate the immigrants from their families, they can now connect with their loved ones. This warm, simple gesture will make the holidays infinitely brighter not just for the 2,000 recipients, but for all of their families. The actions of one directly impact thousands.
Christmas 2013 is upon us, and there is no immigration reform under the tree. Yet, I continue to hope for something to happen in the first few months of 2014. Imagine if the politicians showed a fraction of humanity shown by Pope Francis. One small gesture, for example allowing U.S. citizen children to be a qualifying relative for the purposes of a waiver, would go a long way to reuniting families and stabilizing the immigration status of hundreds of thousands. That’s all it takes – the addition of four small words to a law to make a world of difference. I will continue to hope for common sense, for compassion, and that reform will happen.
To quote one of my favorite movies, The Shawshank Redemption, “Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.” Let’s keep hope alive for 2014.