Reflecting on Mother’s Day Family Legacies Can Bring Both Joy and Pain
For every mother, Mother’s Day has a lot of meaning. Giving birth is a very powerful experience, as is the act of carrying a child — or children, in my first pregnancy — inside you until they’re ready to come out. During both pregnancies, when I was a month away from giving birth to my girls, I was in the “nesting” stage. I’d arrange my room and my house, getting ready to bring home babies from the hospital — the first time, two babies at once! I know that our memories of pregnancy and childbirth are softened after the fact, but I still remember that I wasn’t particularly comfortable, and I didn’t want to do much but get ready to give birth. By contrast, when some of my clients were eight months pregnant, they were crossing the desert under cover of night, on foot, with little water and a guide they only trusted because there was no other choice. For them, there was no nesting, no time to worry about swollen feet or a kicking baby. They were risking everything — life savings, physical safety, and the chance of seeing their own mothers again — for the hope that when the baby inside them was born, it would be born as a citizen of the United States of America. That gift is a legacy that women give to their children every day in this country. It is a legacy they give to their grandchildren as well, and to the families that grow from that one desperate chance. Is it any wonder that mothers are so important to the communities of immigrants in the United States? In my job, I’ve met women who took that chance and have succeeded. But I’ve also met women who were illegally deported with their children, even after they gave birth. Or who were separated from their children because those children were technically citizens but the mother was not. I’ve met couples who were kept separate because of immigration laws until they were too old to have children. And I’ve met people who had not seen their own mothers for decades because of those same laws. I know that for each mother who succeeds at
starting a legacy for her family, many others are not given the same opportunity.
One of the most important jobs that New Frontier Immigration Law does is helping families secure those legacies. I’m here to make sure that when a pregnant woman sets out across the desert or begins to cross the river, her sacrifice and effort is not dashed by the cruel and unjust policies of our federal government. And in the process, I’ve discovered my legacy, one that I’m leaving for my own daughters. The twins are learning about the federal government in school right now — specifically, about
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Get Fit With Your Family 5 Easy Ways to Get Everyone Moving
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the courts that make up the judicial branch. They brought home a handout the other day with a picture of an attorney arguing a case in front of three judges for the 9th Circuit, and when I saw it I said, “You know, girls, I have been in that courtroom and argued cases just like he has. In fact, I even recognize one of those judges.” Their eyes grew wide. It can be hard for kids to picture what their parents do for a living, but usually, they don’t get to see it in the classroom. So when I pulled out my phone and showed them a video of myself in that room, in front of the judge from the pamphlet, those eyes got even wider! I want to show all three of my girls the importance of helping others. I want to leave them the legacy of making our country a better place. And I never want them to forget that it all starts with other people — with families like our own. Recently, my firm got a client permission to leave the country and go visit family because even when someone manages to come here and establish themselves and their children, they aren’t allowed to just leave again. For this woman, that meant she had not seen her grandmother — who really had been a mother to her — in many years. When she came and got that piece of paper, she began to cry. “Finally,” she said, “I get to see my mother again.” Mother’s Day is a reminder of all of this. It’s a day of celebration, and of heartbreak. Of hope, but also of pain. It’s a reminder that our legacies are important and that helping families reunite is one of the most important things I do. If you have not seen your own family because of immigration policies, or if you’re separated from your loved ones, let’s do something about it. Together, we can make sure that when Mother’s Day comes again next year, your own family legacy is in a much stronger place.
May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. As a parent, you probably know exercise is important for your children’s physical development. It helps build healthy bones, muscles, and joints and reduces the risk of developing diabetes and other diseases later in life. But did you know that physical activity also has many mental and behavioral health benefits? It’s been shown to improve children’s cognitive skills and concentration, boost their self-esteem, and reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression. One of the best ways to encourage healthy behaviors in your children is by modeling them yourself. Studies have found that more than 80% of adolescents and adults are not getting enough aerobic activity, showing that children often follow in their parents’ footsteps and that exercising together can benefit everyone. You may be thinking it’s hard enough just to get yourself to the gym, but Stephen Virgilio, author of “Active Start for Healthy Kids,” encourages parents not to limit themselves to traditional forms of exercise. Instead, think of exercise more broadly as “leading an active lifestyle.” And remember that exercise can be fun and a great way to get in more family time. Here are five easy ways to incorporate more movement into your family’s day. 1. Create a walking ritual. Start walking around the neighborhood before or after dinner each night. Aim for a 20-minute stroll. 2. Have a dance party. Clear some space in the living room, make a playlist with everyone’s favorite tunes, and boogie down for as long as you have the energy. 3. Turn chores into games. Dirt has invaded from outer space and must be eliminated. Set the scene with your kids, grab your tools, and get to work removing the enemy while having fun. 4. Incorporate simple exercises into screen time. Start by making up fun names for exercises like situps or jumping jacks. Then, challenge each other to see who can do the most during your favorite show’s commercial breaks. 5. Get fit in the great outdoors. Cleaning up the yard, planting and maintaining a garden, or just running around outside are all great ways to get in more movement.
Team Member Spotlight Ariana Sesmas
Ariana Sesmas has only been with New Frontier since last year, but she brings a wealth of experience to her position at our firm. “I have nine years of experience in personal injury and office administrative work,” she says. It’s not often that we get candidates who have legal experience as well as long-term office organizational skills, so when Ariana found us on Indeed. com we immediately snatched her up. Ariana has momentum; she started out as a receptionist a decade ago and is now a highly skilled legal assistant.
“What we do … makes it easy to come into work every day,” she says. “We’re helping families stay together, and the fact that we give our clients new opportunities for a better life — that, to me, is so rewarding.” Of course, not everybody can work all the time, and Ariana has a variety of hobbies and ways to stay active and enjoy life. “I love salsa/bachata dancing classes,” she says, although as she adds, “it’s been a while due to COVID-19!” That’s something we can all relate to! Thankfully, she’s been able to continue to hike, another hobby she loves, and to play on a co-ed softball team on the weekends. When people like Ariana find us, we’re so humbled and grateful by their interest. She’s been a fantastic addition to our team, and we look forward to seeing where her career takes her. Be sure to check next month’s newsletter for another team member highlight — and enjoy the start of summer!
She also has a personal interest in immigration law.
“I had never worked for an immigration attorney before,” she says. “But my parents were immigrants, and I relate in so many ways with our clients. I love what Hillary’s office stands for.” As you know, so many of our team members have a similar background, and it made Ariana a wonderful fit for our firm. It also makes her very dedicated to the job.
“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” –Mahatma Gandhi
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A Mother’s Legacy
5 Ways to Increase Your Family’s Fitness
Team Member Spotlight: Ariana Sesmas
The Bet That Spawned the Filet-O-Fish Sandwich
Inside the McDonald’s History Books The Bet That Spawned the Filet-O-Fish Sandwich
Every day, 68 million people dine under the iconic golden arches of McDonald’s. If you’re one of them, then you’re probably intimately familiar with one of the most famous offerings on the menu after the McRib and the Big Mac: the Filet-O-Fish Sandwich. This bestselling entree looks simple enough. It features a fried square of wild-caught fish nestled under a slice of American cheese and a smear of tartar sauce. But it has a contentious history. In fact, Ray Kroc, the owner of McDonald’s who was immortalized in the 2016 movie “The Founder,” didn’t want the fishy offering on the menu. It ended up there anyway for one of the oldest reasons in the world: Kroc lost a bet. The story starts back in 1962 in Cincinnati, Ohio. That year, an enterprising McDonald’s franchisee named Lou Groen had a problem. His customer base was largely Catholic and abstained from eating meat on Fridays (not to mention during Lent!), and they weren’t buying enough burgers to keep his restaurant afloat. According to the Smithsonian Magazine, on Fridays, Groen pulled in just $75 per day. To combat that lack of sales, he masterminded a beef-free option, and the Filet-O-Fish Sandwich was born.
The problem came when Groen pitched the entree to Ray Kroc. The founder didn’t approve. In a 2006 interview with Business Courier, Groen recalled Kroc’s reaction: “You’re always coming up here with a bunch of crap!” he said. “I don’t want my stores stunk up with the smell of fish.” But at the end of the day, Kroc’s motivation was profit. So the two men made a bet. On Good Friday in 1962, select McDonald’s would put both the Filet-O-Fish and a different meatless option, the pineapple- centric Hula Burger, on their menus. The entree that sold the best would stick around. Since you’ve probably dined on a Filet-O-Fish and never heard of Hula Burger, you can guess what happened. Groen sold 350 Filet-O-Fish sandwiches. And Kroc? Well, he moved just six Hula Burgers. Fishy smell or not, the filet was there to stay. Want to read up on more fast-food capers? Pick up the book “Drive-Thru Dreams: A Journey Through the Heart of America’s Fast-Food Kingdom” by Adam Chandler. His KFC stories will blow your mind.
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