How did you get interested in immigration law?
Hi, I’m Jim Hacking, immigration attorney here in St Louis, Missouri. I get this question a lot from new clients or people who come to the office to meet us or law students, they want to know how did I pick immigration law. In a lot of ways I think immigration law picked me. I grew up in Richmond Heights, Missouri, a suburb St Louis.
I had a pretty normal lifestyle. I went to St Louis University High School, St Louis University and then I went to St Louis University Law School after working for a law firm for a couple of years. When I started law school I met a young lady named Amany who was in my class. She had moved to St Louis from Chicago having recently graduated from the University of Illinois. We were in law school together, and we became friends and eventually we got married.
But, Amany’s family story was something that really interested me, and they came as immigrants. Amany was born in Egypt and her father was a doctor. He had worked very, very hard over many years, both in England and the United States to make enough money to sponsor his wife, Amany’s mother and their three kids to come to the United States.
Dr. Ragab had come in the mid 70s and worked at various hospitals. He worked at doctor’s offices and he rode circuit all around various areas of the country making enough money and saving enough money to send back to Egypt to come. At the same time Amany’s mom basically sold almost everything she owned to come to the United States.
It is this story of immigrants that led to my wife being here. And it’s the vision that Dr. Ragab and Ms. Ragab had to come to the United States and to put up with everything that they came through to come here. They arrived in 1979, right in the middle of the Iran hostage crisis. It was a tough time to be a foreigner, and especially an Arab in the United States, even though Iranians aren’t Arabs. But the perception was with many people that Arabs were bad, and it was a negative time to be here.
Amany’s parents and Amany and her brothers went through a whole lot. So I’ve learned over the last 20 years while I’ve known her all the struggles of immigrants. We became friends with a lot of immigrants, and lot of them asked me to help them with immigration matters.
In my mind immigration is the civil rights issue of our time. I think that a lot of racism, and power, and oppression occurs, and that immigrants suffer disproportionately from that. And I view my job as helping immigrants stand up for their rights. I know the law. We’ve researched the law. We understand the law, and we know how the law can protect people, and we know what rights are available to them.
So after many people in the immigrant community asking us to help them with immigration matters we opened up the law firm and devoted ourselves to immigration in order to make sure that people have a voice, and an advocate, and someone who will fight for them, and do everything they can to represent their interest. We all have a job to do, and my job is to represent immigrants, and to do everything I can to protect them in any which way that I can.
So if you have any questions about this, want to talk to me about immigration, want to talk to me about how I got in immigration, or about anything else related to all things immigration, it’s something we talk about here every day. It’s a passion of ours, and we really enjoy the work that we do. We feel like we’re on the right side of things and that we’re really helping people. So give me a call, 314-961-8200, or you can shoot me an email firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy to talk it over. Thanks a lot.