Margaret W. Wong, Esq. Discusses Immigration & Shares Her Experience with Members of Cleveland's Middle Eastern Community
In the evening of June 13, we went with Ms. Wong and our colleagues Mr. Gordon Landefeld and Mr. George Koussa, to the monthly C.A.M.E.O. (Cleveland American Middle East Organization) meeting at Kan Zaman Restaurant on West 25th St. in Cleveland. Ms. Wong addressed the membership on the topic of immigration.
In the course of her presentation, she talked about several issues, such as how the process has changed since she came to the United States in 1969. She touched on subjects like: how fees to even apply for citizenship and various visas have gone up considerably over the years; and how the wait times have more than doubled in some instances.
Ms. Wong made a point to emphasize that there are two types of law in the United States—civil and criminal—and even though immigration is technically under civil, the Trump administration is following the trend established by the Obama administration of criminalizing matters to a dangerously inhumane extreme. Along these lines, she spoke of controversial tactics employed by ICE, what the safest airports are currently for a foreign-born person to pass through, and which areas of the U.S. are more immigrant friendly than others.
Ms. Wong was introduced by her longtime friend, Mr. Pierre Bejjani, President of C.A.M.E.O., who noted that throughout her career Ms. Wong has been supportive of C.A.M.E.O., people of ethnic origins, and the Cleveland community as a whole.
Ms. Wong acknowledged it is very important for a successful person like herself never to forget her beginnings and to use her status to help others the way she, herself, was aided at various times in her life.
She reminded us all that her visa to come to the U.S. was denied three times before it was granted and, after she finally got to immigrate here, spent nine summers doing very humble jobs at resorts in the Catskills.
Ms. Wong testified as to what it is like being an immigrant to the U.S., and how tenacity and persistence are necessary if one is to succeed. Nevertheless, she contended that an immigrant is a person of passion who has a tremendous amount to offer her/his new country. Along these lines, she said she considers the DACA recipients to be awesome.
Undoubtedly, a vital key to Ms. Wong's success is, largely due to her own experience, her ability to relate to her clients and what they are going through. Indeed, as she observed, in order to be an immigration attorney, the qualities of mind and heart are essential, but what is most imperative is love.
Margaret W. Wong & Associates LLC