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Advocating for Immigrants in a New Era

Updated: Nov 10, 2020

As a therapist who specializes in immigration evaluations, I'm deeply moved by this milestone of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris winning the White House. Kamala Harris is the first child of immigrants to be elected to this office, and Joe Biden was instrumental in creating VAWA (the Violence Against Women Act) which helps protect immigrant victims of domestic violence. For so many, this is a moment of great significance, but even as we celebrate these new and very welcomed possibilities, I believe it's essential for therapists to relate with this moment with a sense of energy and urgency to advocate for immigrants. What a lot of therapists don't know is that immigration lawyers around the country continue to look for qualified therapists to provide immigration evaluations, and it's more important than ever to use our clinical skills to provide evidence for immigration cases and help immigrants tell their stories with the kind of detail that judges can hear and respond to.

One final note... I want to acknowledge how much complexity there is when it comes to ethnicity, citizenship status, country of origin and political affiliation. And there are certainly immigrants who are displeased or uncertain about the future under this new administration, and with good reason. Many people are surprised to learn about the high number of deportations during Barack Obama's years as president, and conversely, the level of amnesty granted to immigrants under the Ronald Regan and George W. Bush administrations.

Whatever the coming years bring, I'm grateful for the continued opportunities I have to advocate for immigrants by providing immigration evaluations, as well as the chance to train therapists to conduct highly effective assessments and build thriving practices. My deepest hope is that we're entering into a new era of compassion, justice and opportunity for all people, and that we can each make a powerful difference as we're bringing this about.

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