Are immigration lawyers becoming the new “black sheep”?

Lately immigration issues have become a hot topic with the passing of Arizona Senate Bill 1070. As has historically been the case, the country is completely divided on the issue and attorneys on both sides of the largely partisan isle are being seen as the new “black sheep.”

Unlike other areas of law, Attorneys practicing in immigration law have long been considered the “attorneys of the poor.” While immigration can be very lucrative if you practice for corporate clients, it can also be a financial disaster for those who opt not to take lucrative corporate based assignments.

The monetary reward can be meager but the personal satisfaction of helping a person or a family stay in this country is priceless. When I was a student in law school I always imagined myself as someone that would be able to make a comfortable living while simultaneously helping the community. Immigration law has provided me with this lifestyle and the platform to stand up to injustice. Indeed, the successful result of our law firm, testimonials, reviews and personal thank you’s from our clients have made me proud to be a practicing lawyer.

But, lately a very distressing trend has started to prevail. Every month I receive at least one email or comment where I am insulted or threatened. For instance, I posted a video on YouTube denouncing the harsh measures of Arizona’s new immigration laws. The first comment I received was “take it back terrorist.” I wonder what makes me a terrorist? I took an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States and because of that oath I am obliged to take a stand against an unfair and incredibly unconstitutional law. In another instance, I was threatened and insulted because quite a few people do not appreciate the fact that I help immigrants legally enter the United States. The truth is that I am only the messenger of the law of our great country and shooting the messenger does not destroy the message.

At this point, such comments or threats are no longer having a negative effect on me. However, it bothers my family who are perpetually frightened by my position as an immigration attorney. I am not very interested in taking action against individuals who write bad things about me, but it is disturbing to realize that they can disturb my personal life.

Some have indicated that when you become a “public” figure, such threats are normal and actually show the impact you are having on the public. Despite this saying, one cannot help but notice that some of the greatest advocates for civil rights in this nation such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X saw their activism ended by a bullet. This of course is cause for worry, especially considering how heated and emotional the immigration debate in this country has become. Nonetheless, I am committed to fighting for the rights of immigrants in this country, and “hateful” emails or comments will not deter me from fighting for the right thing and upholding the constitution I swore an oath to uphold.

A few days ago, some senators have started to debate the birthright of citizen children, despite the unconstitutionality of denying citizenship to any person born in this country. This is another issue that I am planning to take on in my quest for justice. I wonder how some people are going to react when they learn about this.

Fortunately for many, the scare tactics will not work on me. I will continue fighting for justice and practice immigration law. I will invite the entire world to assist us in this endeavor.

Shah Peerally is the Managing attorney of Shah Peerally Law Group PC. His work has been commended by Honorable Congress women Barbara Lee and Nancy Pelosi. His biography has appeared in many foreign and local articles such as in Movers & Shakers, US Fiji Times, San Jose Mercury News, and other Pakistan newspapers. He also have an online and Am Radio show where legal and social news are discussed. You can check and reach him on Ph: (510) 742 5887.

Shah Peerally is an attorney licensed in California practicing immigration law and debt settlement. He has featured as an expert legal analyst for many TV networks such as NDTV, Times Now and Sitarree TV. Articles about Shah Peerally and his work have appeared on newspapers such as San Jose Mercury News, Oakland Tribune, US Fiji Times, Mauritius Le Quotidien, Movers & Shakers and other prominent international newspapers. His work has been commended by Congress women Nancy Pelosi and Barbara Lee.  He has a weekly radio show on KLOK 1170AM and frequently participates in legal clinics in churches, temples and mosques.


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Attorney Shah Peerally also deals in debt settlement. For more information call us on 510.742.5887 and visit us on

Information provided above is for educational purposes only.  One should not act or refrain to act solely based on the information provided.  You should consult an attorney to assess your case before proceeding.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed on this website are not necessarily those of Shah Peerally or his law firms. No attorney client relationship is created by reading any message or articles posted on this blog.