Anything Is Possible

As we stand closer to immigration reform, I talk to many people who are disillusioned and unsure.

“We have been here for more than a decade,” they say, “and we work hard, pay taxes, have US born kids, but still we await our green cards.”

I reply to them that reform may be imminent.

But some immigrants tell me that they have heard all this before.

President George W. Bush pushed hard for guest workers, but that law never made it, likely because it was too close to 9/11.

Senator John McCain and his friend from the other side of the aisle, the late Ted Kennedy, got a bipartisan immigration bill done that almost made it into law.

Now we have the Gang of Eight: Senators Bennet, Schumer, Durbin, Menendez, Flake, Graham, Rubio, and again McCain, working together for real immigration reform.

Before anyone loses faith, recall the maxim that everything is within our power.  Never give up.  The more public support for immigration reform, the better the chances of it happening.

It is commonly known that Michael Jordan was cut from his high school varsity basketball team during his sophomore year.  Could you imagine if had given up on hoops?  All that happened after that rejection was Jordan went on to become the greatest basketball player of all time.

Richard Hornberger, a doctor, decided to write a novel called M.A.S.H. Seventeen publishers rejected the manuscript.  But Hornberger, under the pen name Richard Hooker, persisted and M.A.S.H. only spawned one of the most successful movies and TV shows in history.

John Grisham, an attorney, also thought he would write a book. His first manuscript was rejected by nearly 30 publishing houses.  Grisham did not give up.  He has now sold more than a quarter billion books.

Grandma Moses lived a quiet life.  When she was in her seventies, she could have sat in a rocking chair and lived out her final days in obscurity and solitude.  But, she began painting.  Her work became popular throughout the world. She reached such notoriety that the President of the United States met with her.

I truly believe that we are close to a new law.  Many signs point in that direction.  But there must be an unyielding spirit that energizes the reform efforts.

Dale Carnegie put it best: “Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.”

Keep believing.


Written by: Harlan York

Immigration Attorney Harlan York is Former Chair, Immigration Section, NJ State Bar Association and Former Co-Chair, NY State Bar Association CFLS Immigration Committee. Mr. York appeared on National Television on CBS This Morning with Charlie Rose and Primer Impacto on Univision, as well as Telemundo, NBC, and PBS. He was honored as First Ever Immigration Lawyer of The Year in NJ by Best Lawyers.

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