A Meeting of the Minds What Makes a Team a Team?
In 1945, Joseph Stalin, Winston Churchill, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt gathered for the now-famous Yalta Conference, which determined what would happen after World War II. These three leaders had been in touch during the war itself, of course, but now that it was safe to travel, they knew some things are just done better in person. If you’re trying to build trust and strengthen alliances, it’s better and faster to do the work face to face. It is a lesson worth remembering — and an example that New Frontier Immigration Law happily followed earlier this summer when we gathered for a three- day summit/conference of our own in Puerto Vallarta. Our office has been more or less remote since the beginning of the pandemic, and we consider ourselves very lucky to have been so. We also are lucky in that we’ve seen tremendous growth, doubling in size one year and then doing it again the next. Where many companies were struggling to keep busy, we had the opposite issue, which is a good problem to have. But sometimes, being busy means you don’t have time to catch up with coworkers or spend time as a group in the same room. To be honest, in any other year, we’d have had this meeting long ago, but working from home and being busy can have some unintended negative consequences if you don’t work to combat them. It has been frustrating to know this but still be powerless to meet in person and build a strong team. Of course, the people who really benefit from this team-building work are our amazing clients. Many have noticed our growth and realized that their attorneys are never going to be satisfied with “good enough.” We fight until the end to get justice for the people we represent, and that doesn’t just happen when we go to court or file motions. If you want to show people that you respect them and their time, you need to put in real effort in making that clear. Our three-day conference is one way to make that effort. I cannot wait for everyone on our team to meet each other and finally put faces to the names and voices they’ve been hearing for the past year.
I’m really excited for this, and I’m
also excited for the streamlining and focus on efficiency that will emerge if we do our job right. It’s just so much
easier to figure out pain points and places of potential weakness
in our system when we’re all in the same room, brainstorming solutions and getting to work together in person at long last.
This is going to be an important year for us and for many clients as well. With a new, more immigrant-friendly administration in the White House, there are many reasons to be hopeful. It’s our job to help you get the best result possible in your legal case, and that means that everyone at our firm needs to be on the same page. Our conference in Puerto Vallarta is a step in that direction. What are you excited about this summer? Will you be celebrating your first Fourth of July as a citizen or lawful permanent resident? Will you be able to finally return to work, now that we’ve secured your work permit? Will you see family again for the first time in years because we enabled you to leave the U.S. and come back?
Whatever the case, please know that we are on your side and ready to help. If you have questions or concerns, or are just ready to take the next step forward yourself, we’re just a phone call away.
Team Member Spotlight: Linda
When we first hired Linda back in October 2020, we knew she was something special, full of strengths and potential. For her part, she was excited to work with the team. “I was brought on as a receptionist,” Linda says, “and
Get Your Train of Thought Back on Track Recovery Hacks Have you ever been in the middle of a conversation, presentation, or debate, stringing together thoughts in a way you hope is coherent and insightful when — poof! — you lose your train of thought? It’s frustrating. You just want to make yourself understood, but your brain has other plans. What if there were a way to keep your train of thought on track? Well, the good news is that recovering your train of thought is easy with the following hacks in mind. REPEAT, REPEAT, REPEATYOURSELF. Paraphrasing your last few thoughts out loud can help you remember where you were going. Think of it as retracing your steps: You go back to the last words you remember saying, and more often than not, you’ll find your direction again. TAKE A SHORT PAUSE. Pausing briefly is a great way to make recovering your train of thought seem natural. This hack works really well if you’re answering a question and you need time to think, and you also don’t want to be bogged down by a chorus of “ums” escaping from your mouth. WRITE IT ALL DOWN. This hack works well when you know beforehand that you’ll be speaking with someone or in front of people. Even if you never refer to your notes while speaking, simply writing down a road map for your train of thought can help you recover from a detour and speak more confidently. REMEMBER YOUR OVERALL POINT. The easiest way to drive your train of thought into the weeds is to forget your overall point — or not to have an overriding point at all. Always have a short, overarching point you can use to recenter yourself and get back on track. With these hacks, your brain will have to work a lot harder to make you lose your train of thought! Now you’ll be more prepared to tackle any subject matter, no matter how deep or technical, that comes your way.
to help with translations. I knew the firm did good work and cared a lot, but I had no idea I’d be doing such rewarding work.” Right now, that work has very little to do with reception: Linda is one of the team members we have working full- time on the Family Reunification Project with VECINA, a nonprofit dedicated to legal aid for immigrants. The project is simple, as Linda explains, but not easy. “Right now, there are many thousands of unaccompanied minors in immigration holdings in the United States —which means we have detention facilities full of locked-up children. Jails, really.” Although the government says these kids came to the USAwithout adults, the reality is that many were separated from their parents or guardians by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). “No matter what,” Linda says, “the government tells us that if a child has family here in the United States that can take them in, then they can be released.” Finding those family members can be tricky, which is where Linda comes in. “Families contact me in some cases, looking for their kids,” she says. “Or we’ll have a child trying to find their family. A lot of the time, the adults are scared to come forward, though. They’re afraid they’ll be deported.” It can be draining work, and Linda knows she can’t succeed in every case. “But I have to try, she says. “I’m surrounded by passionate women at work, and that inspires me. Besides, as a mother, I cannot imagine my child in jail like that. Not for a second.” Family sustains her, she says. Right now, Linda lives with her mother and child, and they give her the support she needs to do the work. “So does cleaning my house,” she adds, laughing. “I enjoy the process of cleaning — while being around my cats too!” We are so grateful for Linda’s passion and hard work. It isn’t easy, but we knew when she first arrived that she had so much to offer. Thanks to her, many children have already gone home, and more will do the same.
Supreme Court and White House Seem to Differ on Treatment of Immigrants
Although the “build the wall” era seems to have passed in Washington, and immigrants find themselves facing a more friendly administration in the White House, we are still receiving confusing messages from the different branches of the federal government. There’s cause for optimism, especially in the short term. But taking a longer view, it is important to be prepared for every possible outcome — and to remember to keep it all in perspective.
That worrying language from VP Harris seems more in line with the current thinking of the Supreme Court, which ruled late last month that asylum seekers would not receive bond hearings if they had previously been deported from the United States. That is a problem, as Border Patrol and Immigration and
Customs Enforcement (ICE) have often deported asylum seekers in the past without listening to their declarations of fear of returning to their home country — a violation of the United States’ agreements under international law. It’s a concerning development, especially considering that, unlike presidents and most politicians, Supreme Court justices are appointed for life. We already had concerns that this was an unfriendly court to immigrants.
The good news is that after the Trump administration’s open hostility and racism toward immigrants, especially those arriving from countries south of the United States/ Mexico border, President Biden appears to be a much friendlier face. As we discussed in previous editions, the Biden administration has already made promising changes — such as
removing exclusive, isolating terms like “illegal alien” in exchange for “noncitizen” in government documents. But how much of an ally we have in the White House is still uncertain; Vice President Harris’ first trip abroad led to her telling the wider people of Latin America “do not come” to the USA, even if they are facing persecution in their home countries.
If you have questions about your legal strategy or how these and other current events may impact your
case, do not hesitate to reach out to our offices!
“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.” –Martin Luther
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New Frontier Team Member Summit
Life Hack: How to Recover Your Train of Thought Team Member Spotlight: Linda
The Supreme Court, the White House, and Immigrants
5 Wacky Pizza Trends From Around the World
They Eat What on Pizza?!
Here in the U.S., pineapple is considered a wild and controversial pizza topping. Even celebrities take a stand. Justin Bieber is pro- pineapple, but Jimmy Kimmel is against it. According to a 2019 YouGov Omnibus study, only anchovies and eggplant are more hated. But in other parts of the world, the tangy yellow fruit is far from the strangest topping you’ll see! Here are five wacky pizza trends from around the globe that will either make you hungry or inspire you to sprint the other way. You may want to order a comforting cheese pie from your favorite local pizzeria before reading this, just in case. 1. Banana-Curry Pizza (Sweden) — The Swedes first accessed bananas in 1944, and since then, they’ve put them on everything, including pizza which they top with tomato sauce, smoked cheese, banana slices, and curry powder. 2. Ketchup and Corn Pizza (Brazil) — According to several sources, Brazilians swap pizza sauce for ketchup or tomato slices and top their pies with strange combinations of local ingredients like corn, beets, hearts of palm, and potato sticks. 3. Haggis Pizza (Scotland) — Pizza may be the only semi- enjoyable way to eat haggis: a mix of sheep or calf offal,
oatmeal, suet, and seasonings that are boiled in an animal’s stomach. Last year, Papa John’s got in on the action when it released a limited- edition haggis pizza in honor of a Scottish poet, Robert Burns. 4. Mockba Pizza (Russia) — This local pie comes topped with four kinds of fish (sardines, tuna, mackerel, and salmon), onions, herbs, and occasionally fish eggs. Most troubling of all, it’s served cold! 5. Chickpea Pancake Pizza (Argentina) — In Buenos Aires, locals top their super-cheesy pizza slices with fainá — chickpea pancakes cooked separately from the pies and balanced on top of each slice. Keep these pizzas in mind when planning your next international vacation! They might be tastier than they sound, and if not, they’ll still make great Instagram fodder. As actor Cole Sprouse once tweeted, “You’re losing followers because you’re not relatable enough. Try mentioning that you eat pizza. If that doesn’t work, play the ukulele.”
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