As I finished the third week of my internship, I had a much better understanding of the separation required between partisan politics and casework conducted on behalf of our constituents. We get calls and emails daily about issues ranging from seemingly municipal problems like problems with certain bus stops to existential problems people are facing like the increased threat of deportation while living in the era of the Trump administration. Without getting into the specifics due to privacy requirements, one major project I helped with was that of a man who was seeking a letter of support so that his mother and siblings could attend his wedding in New York. It seemed like a relatively simple immigration case on its face but through listening more closely to the man’s story, I realized that the immigration system had wronged him severely. When transferring over records from his application to their system, immigration officials made a mistake in the spelling of the name of one of his sisters and switched her birthdate with that of her mother. In a system that could take years to issue visas and green cards so that families can be reunified even temporarily, this was a huge setback in this man’s journey. Thankfully I was able to recognize the mistake made by immigration officials and made sure to highlight it to our immigration caseworker and the man’s visa requests got taken care of.
Another immigration case that I contributed to in these last few weeks was related to a woman who has been living in the United States for fifteen years, raised a family, was a law-abiding citizen, paid her taxes, and yet was still facing the threat of deportation. The woman got a letter in the mail from ICE shortly after the election of Donald Trump demanding that she go to her home country and retrieve a green card which would allow her to stay in the United States. The only catch to this was that the woman would be banned from reentering the United States for 10 years if she left to retrieve her green card. I recognized how frantic this woman was and how her situation required urgent attention; I ensured that we allowed this woman to speak to our immigration team personally so they could attempt to solve the issue at hand.