As an NYC immigration lawyer, I sometimes look back on the history of immigration in America. The first immigrants here were the Pilgrims, coming from England and seeking freedom from religious persecution. Their hard fought life here won them the freedom that they so deeply sought and set the tone for those that would come later.
The Irish Wave
The next wave of voluntary immigrants was the Irish, who were suffering a great famine in their country and so they came to America looking for a better life. Along with them were immigrants from Northern and Western Europe. All came seeking a better life, the bulk passing through Ellis Island, being welcomed by the Statue of Liberty. As an NYC immigration lawyer, I can tell you that some of them found it only with great difficulty, as the price of passage was so dear that many came to the United States as indentured servants.
Immigrants Against Their Will
For an NYC immigration lawyer, it pains me to recount it, however it must be noted that during this time of voluntary immigration to America, there were also hundreds of thousands of Africans being brought to America as slaves. A dark time in American history, we will never know the total number, but estimates places it at between 500,000-600,000 poor souls.
The Start of Modern Immigration Law
The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 was the first large scale Federal foray into immigration law. Prior to this, most states made their own laws concerning immigration. For an NYC immigration lawyer, however, the 1965 Immigration and Neutrality Act is more significant for us in modern terms, as it did away with previously enacted quota systems based upon nationality and allowed citizens to sponsor others from their countries of origin.
Where We Stand Today as An NYC Immigration Lawyer
Modern immigration law is highly complex. New laws and new interpretations of existing laws occur all the time, making this a highly challenging area of law to practice. An NYC immigration lawyer is not a luxury for you and your loved ones, it is a necessity. Hire one with the skill to handle your complex immigration issues. Call our offices today for a free consultation.