Immigration Drives the US Economy

Among the many myths about immigration in the US, the most prevalent is that a progressive immigration policy only benefits immigrants and their families. This couldn’t be farther from the truth: immigration policy affects the entire nation’s future and, with America’s economic and political position in the world, the future of the globe more broadly. Though partisan cynicism has led some to believe that immigration policy is a Democratic Party wedge issue designed to garner votes from the newly landed, it is actually a vital part of our 21st-century economy and needs to be approached with an informed understanding.

Many economic experts believe that our failed immigration policies were a major contributor to America’s most recent economic recession; Alan Greenspan himself spoke of immigration policy as central to the U.S. economic recovery and planning.

Unfortunately, immigration policy is often discussed from the most extreme points of view. Pro-immigrant advocates have argued for family unity and refugees, immigration policy as an international form of social work. They advocate for the rights of undocumented children, the basic needs of the poor immigrants, and the displaced and oppressed in other parts of the world. To maintain their ideological purity, many immigration advocates have ignored policy changes to improve employment-based immigration. As a result, immigration policies have developed as an ad hoc patchwork and not as a part of the comprehensive vision for America.

On the side, anti-immigrant forces advocate for protectionist policies, arguing that cheap immigrant workers are lowering the wages of the average American worker, taking jobs away from native-born Americans, and are taking advantage of the social safety net provided to those who reside in America. With such polarized political rhetoric, American employment-based immigration policies have been left to ossify into a complex paradoxical web of confusion and inefficiency, helping neither American companies nor their immigrant workers.

What immigration clients want from immigration lawyers

As an immigration lawyer, I always ask my clients how I can best serve them as we begin the immigration process together. I have learned over time that immigrants feel the greatest need for my knowledge of the subtleties of the immigration process, my accuracy in completing complex and confusing forms, my responsiveness to stressful and time-sensitive situations, and my ability to work for an affordable price – in that order of priority.

By understanding how my clients experience the legal side of the immigration process, I began to see how difficult it is for immigrants to have all of their needs met in a single lawyer; too often, immigrants must choose between knowledge, accuracy, or responsiveness if they want to be able to afford a lawyer.

This is because immigration lawyers who are accessible and respond quickly are not necessarily knowledgeable: the most experienced and knowledgeable lawyers tend to have larger practices that keep them away from clients as their time is divided between working on cases and managing their staff.

Further, immigration lawyers who are affordable are not necessarily working the strenuous hours required to ensure the accuracy of their work.

I have come to realize the service my clients deserve often comes at a financial cost that is difficult for them to bear.

 

 

What can I do to provide the best legal service to my clients?

I need to simultaneously be very knowledgeable (through my accumulated experience and by maintaining a large database of case histories), accurate (painstakingly careful in reviewing applications), accessible (by taking fewer cases or hiring more staff), and affordable (by taking more cases at a lower price or hiring fewer staff).

As you can see, it is not easy for immigration lawyers to effectively serve their clients while keeping costs down. Or to reverse the perspective, it is not easy for immigrants to find a lawyer who meets all their needs at a price they can afford. In this moment, a sacrifice needs to be made by someone in order to successfully complete the immigration process.

But why should this be the case? Why can’t we develop technologies to serve both immigrants and the lawyers they rely on?

Lawfully was created to achieve the competing goals of offering best-in-class legal service at a low cost, which is very rare and difficult for a human lawyer to provide without significant personal hardship (working extremely long hours and taking less profit than they could demand).

By leveraging advanced machine learning techniques and applying them to the intricacies of the immigration process, we believe we can take the legwork away from immigration lawyers so that, instead of pouring over minute mechanical details, they can spend their time gaining knowledge and responding to their clients concerns.

The Lawfully Team, by combining our legal technology platform and our expert immigration knowledge, will help to create a more accessible, accurate, and affordable immigration experience for everyone looking to bring their dreams and ambitions to a new country.