Cyrus D. Mehta*

2006 was one of the most momentous years for US immigration policy. For the very first time, hundreds of thousands of immigrants and their supporters spontaneously took to the streets to demand a better future for themselves and their children into the US. The marches were peaceful and highlighted the fact that immigrants, whether documented or undocumented, contributed in myriad ways to this country. Despite this exuberance, the country is still polarized over immigration. Many believe that immigrants are the cause of the country’s growing problems, including the rise in crime rates, overcrowding, rising health costs, to name a few.

Thus, immigration remained a highly divisive issue in 2006. Fortunately, with the mid-term elections resulting in the rejection of candidates who campaigned on a platform opposing immigrants, there is cause for hope that the new Congress may enact comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) in 2007. Those who believe in CIR have a more positive and hopeful message. It is axiomatic that a positive message will carry the day over the negative messages – laced with hate and xenophobia – from the anti-immigrant groups and organizations. CIR will fix a broken immigration system, provide more legal pathways for immigrants to work and unite with families, and treat immigrants and their families more fairly and humanely.

CIR recognizes that immigrants fill in the much needed gaps within the US labor market and America can be even better if it is able to harness the industry, ambitions and dreams of those who are drawn to it. Such a positive approach is preferable over a policy that will lead to mass deportations of millions of people and treat them as criminal felons, which is what the House attempted to do in late 2005 through H.R. 4437. Fortunately, H.R. 4437 never took effect in 2006.

On a personal front, Cyrus D. Mehta & Associates, P.L.L.C. (CDMA) thanks all clients for reposing their trust and confidence in the firm. All of us at CDMA are extremely committed to working on client maters and we will strive to serve you even better in 2007.

We thank our clients, friends, website readers and well wishers for all of their support, and wish everyone a happy and prosperous 2007.

* Cyrus D. Mehta, a graduate of Cambridge University and Columbia Law School, practices immigration law in New York City and is the managing member of Cyrus D. Mehta & Associates, P.L.L.C. He is the Past Chair of the Board of Trustees of the American Immigration Law Foundation and recipient of the 1997 Joseph Minsky Young Lawyers Award. He is also Secretary of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and former Chair of the Committee on Immigration and Nationality Law of the same Association. He frequently lectures on various immigration subjects at legal seminars, workshops and universities.

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