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The Stress of Immigration

Hello, everybody. It’s Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States at our offices in St. Louis, San Diego, and Washington, DC. Today’s going to be a little bit of a different video. It’s not going to be me railing against Joe Biden or Donald Trump or USCIS. As much as I’d like to, I am in Baltimore today. I’m getting ready to head to USCIS. And I want to talk about what’s been going on with a lot of our clients and a lot of the people in the Immigrant Home Facebook group, a lot of the people that call into our YouTube Immigration Answers live show. And that’s the stress of immigration, the stress of this process, the immense pressure that you are under if you’re going through the immigration process.

I have it easy. I grew up in St. Louis. I’m a white blonde dude, and my life’s been pretty easy, knock on wood. I didn’t have all the struggles that you have. I didn’t have all the competing interests and things that are sort of stacked against immigrants to keep them from getting the immigration benefits that they want. So I consider myself very lucky, but I was taught at a young age that with great power or access to power comes great responsibility. That’s from Spiderman, but it’s also from the high school that I attended. They taught us to be people for others, men for others. And that’s sort of why I do this.

And so someone suggested in the Facebook group over the weekend that they wish there was a support group for people going through the immigration process. They said something like Alcoholics Anonymous. And I’ve been thinking about this myself for a while. I don’t know many people who are going to graduate school in social work or psychology or psychiatry or whatever, but I do think that you could really do some major research on the stresses of being separated from your family member, of the stresses caused by USCIS, and of the strain that that puts on relationships.

Some people ask me, “Jim, do you think USCIS does this on purpose?” I do. I think if they see a shaky marriage in front of them, or if it’s a marriage that they’re wondering about, they’ll delay it, and that obviously causes more and more pressure. But for anyone going through the process, as my client who I’m going to see at the field office here in Baltimore in a couple minutes would tell you, they have a very straightforward marriage. They’ve been married three years. They have a kid. It’s very obvious that the marriage is real, but they’re going to get put through the ringer, and they’re nervous about that.

So I think this idea of a support group to help with the stress is a really good one. I’m going to have to explore it and see maybe how could do that. But I think it’s something that I really need to think about and talk to my team about and see if there’s a way that we, I mean, I’ve been going to 12 step meetings since 1994, so a long, long time, 27 years. So I think we have the skillset to pull it off. I just don’t know if we have the capacity.

But in the meantime, know that we are doing what we can for you, that we support you, that we honor you, and that we salute you for all the heartache you’re going through, all the headaches that you’ve had, all the frustration dealing with the National Visa Center or the embassies or the local field office or the service center or the 1-800 number. It’s like, all these things are just stacked in ways to make your life more stressful. And for that, I want to do what I can to help ease that suffering, to ease that pain. That’s why I’m an immigration lawyer. That’s why we fight for immigrants every day at our law firm. That’s why we do what we can that’s in the best interest of the client. Whenever we can, we try to help.

And I hope this makes sense. If you have any questions about it, or if you’re finding yourself in real dire need, join the Facebook group, Immigrant Home. There’s a lot of support that goes on right there. And then of course you know about my YouTube channel and all the resources we try to give away. I don’t need to go over all of them today, but I do wish you all the best. I ask you to keep fighting and keep hope alive, as Reverend Jackson said so long ago. Thanks a lot. Have a great day.

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