I’m writing to you from Washington, D.C. today. Every year, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) coordinates a National Day of Action – inviting immigration attorneys from around the country to come to Washington, D.C. to meet with their elected officials to discuss immigration. So, here I am with hundreds of other immigration attorneys in our nation’s capital. It’s absolutely wonderful.

This year, the focus is on keeping immigration reform front and center. There is a lot of discussion on how reform is dead, but until the Republican primary season is over in late June, hope remains.

By coming here and meeting with Senators and Representatives, we show them that immigration policies have a real impact on people. We share our clients’ stories. Sometimes we even bring the clients with us so that a face and voice can be put to the statistics.

In addition to meeting with elected officials, I had the privilege of meeting with USCIS officials. I was pleasantly surprised that USCIS had already identified and is in the process of addressing issues that we had wanted to talk about. We complain so often about how systems are broken, how problems never get fixed…and here, the opposite is true.

What have I learned from today? That getting your face out there and making your voice heard really can make a difference. Perhaps not immediately, but you can plant that seed.

– Tracie