The Shirazi Law Group at St. Patricks Catholic Church

Amna Shirazi & Sebastian Parra

During the Shirazi Law Group’s 14 years of service to the immigrant community I have helped (when we can) victims of tremendous exploitation at the hands of the very professional that are hired to assist.  As immigration attorneys, we deal with a lot of corruption by not just attorneys, but by notaries that prepare immigration forms to the detriment of the Latino community.  There is a hot, uncomfortable place somewhere for people who prey on poor people like this.  There are the genuine attorneys who genuinely care for the immigrant community; people that take their moral obligation seriously and tender to the needs of the most vulnerable to exploitation, however, this blog is dedicated to my frustration with the former.  These are greedy immoral individuals who do not mind taking advantage of the innocent immigrant community at the expense of their best interests.  Bad Notarios are not the only offenders.  There are also ruthless attorneys that accept cases that cannot be won in order to create revenue for their firms.   These people are creating their revenue of the false sense of hope of those in need.

A few weeks ago, when Mexico was still in the World Cup, we did a talk at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church on the very day they were playing.  We did not think that we would have much of a turnout as many of the people who go to St. Patrick’s are Latino, but we went anyway to talk about DACA renewals as well as to talk to the community about how not to have their money taken from them but unscrupulous notaries and attorneys. Surprisingly, we had about 50 people in attendance.  People need information!  I am happy to give it!

 I do not think everyone has to hire my firm (though that’s my preference, of course!), but my wish is that if a person does not use our law firm for their immigration needs, that they have the tools and information to hire someone who is competent, professional and will get them results and who also will have the ethics to tell them that they do not have a case and save them the hardship of paying for a useless case.

The Shirazi Law Group hard at work volunteering.

I understand that at the end of the day, the legal system is a business world.  However, in my line of work I see so many that need and want help but just cannot afford the consultation fee sometimes.  Taking personal time out of the firm’s schedule to assist those in need is a wonderful feeling.  Giving back makes one feel good as well, so it is a win-win for all.  At some point in life we all need help in some form or another and providing free legal consultations to the Church community after doing an informational talk is one of my methods of supporting those in need. 

In attendance also was my dear friend and my State Representative Pedro Martin who is a firm advocate for giving back to the immigrant community. Although we have linked up on several occasions for various events, it’s always a pleasure to sit beside Pedro and support all of the continuous good work he does in Georgia. In life, we may not be able to help everyone we wish to help but that does not mean we will not be continuing the immigrant fight one immigrant family at a time.  Be blessed everyone.