Thanksgiving and Immigration

Fri, Nov 13, 2015 at 11:45AM

We here at The Law Offices of Diego Handel would like to wish you and your family a very happy Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving is one of those holidays we all cherish, whether we were born here or are just beginning to call the US “home” … and every status in between. It is a day to celebrate the company of family and friends and, of course, give thanks. 

For immigrant families, Thanksgiving offers an especially unique opportunity: a time to reflect on the circumstances and paths that brought you (and countless before you) to where you are or today. 

A deep-rooted tradition

Some of the earliest immigrants to the country came in the 17th century and started what would become Thanksgiving as we know it today. These early immigrants—known as the Pilgrims—encountered harsh weather, food shortages and other problems upon arrival. While by no means a perfect one, their story serves as a meaningful symbol of what’s possible for even today’s immigrants: integration into a new country and the making of a “home,” even despite the odds and negative circumstances.

Turning tides

Another something to be thankful for as an immigrant this Thanksgiving: the strides being made in immigration laws and regulations today. While the current situation may be far from ideal for many families, new measures are constantly being enacted that will allow for more inclusion and openness to immigrants (take the California bill, for example, that will disallow the use of the word “alien” in government materials and signage). And even now, new ideas are being set in motion every day that aim to promote a more immigrant friendly country—in many cases, it’s only a matter of time (and patience) before these ideas come to fruition. That’s something we can all appreciate and be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

Above all, family togetherness is what many immigrant families are most grateful for this Thanksgiving. The ability to spend time with loved ones is a big one, no matter who you are—but it’s especially meaningful to families who may have been separated by immigration, deportation or other factors. Often, parts of the family will be living in the US while others remain in their home country, making it difficult to keep in touch or share important events and milestones. But when the situation changes, and families are able to spend the holiday under one roof, that’s certainly something to be thankful for this season! 

Thanksgiving is the national day of gratitude—and for immigrant families, it often means something even more. This year, use Thanksgiving day to show your appreciation for loved ones and for the strides you’ve made (and will continue to make) here.

What are you most thankful for this Thanksgiving? Please share your thoughts with us here! And, again, be sure to have a happy, enjoyable Thanksgiving with you and your loved ones.

 

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