This is the second Thanksgiving we have celebrated at Benach Ragland. Like last year, we are grateful for all the people who have helped make this firm an ongoing enjoyable place to do the work we love.
But, let’s face it. The past year has been rough. A year ago, the President was re-elected and all the political leaders were saying that the time is right for immigration reform. 2013 began with such optimism for the first meaningful immigration reform since the disaster of 1996. A year later, the Senate has passed a bill that immigrants and their allies are lukewarm to and the House is completely hostile to. Immigrants and allies of immigrants have been torn over whether a comprehensive or a piecemeal approach is appropriate, the role of civil disobedience, and even the constitutional authority of the President. Everyone is very deservedly cranky.
But Thanksgiving is supposed to be a time when we express our gratitude for the many things we have rather than the things that we do not. At BR, we are all grateful that our families are together as we recall so many immigrant families that spend holidays, birthdays, weddings and funerals separated by an unfair immigration system. At BR, we are grateful that we are able to perform meaningful and inspiring work and earn comfortable livings when so many workers have to leave their family dinners for the altar of consumption. At BR, we are grateful for the deep and abiding relationships we have made with so many through our work.
Our profound gratitude goes first to our stellar staff. Liana Montecinos, Sandra Arboleda and Mariela Sanchez Odicio make this firm run and their dedication to serve our clients and to seek justice on their behalf remains a daily inspiration. As many of our clients will attest, they are the best part of this firm. We are grateful that Rachael Petterson choose BR as a place to develop her career as a lawyer. We are thankful for her strong dedication to our clients and work and her unfailing charm and grace in the office. Finally, as partners, Dree, Jen, Thomas and I could not have asked for better partners. They say partnership is like a marriage and we have experienced a number of challenging issues all of which have reinforced the bonds of partnership and friendship we share.
We are grateful to our families. Every minute we are here is time that we are not with husbands, wives, children and parents. Their support for our work, our ideals and our goals makes it possible. Their love at the end of a day keeps us revitalized and refreshed.
We are grateful to the clients who have shown the confidence in us by asking us to handle the important matter of their right to live and work in the U.S. We are inspired every day by the strength, optimism and resilience of our clients and we are grateful for the opportunity to serve such an inspiring community.
We are grateful to companies and individuals who have partnered with us and helped us provide our services.
Lastly, we are grateful to the vast group of people we call Friends of Benach Ragland (“FOBR”). Your support and friendship mean the world to us.