Opening Statements

From the Heart

CD art by Gaye Hilsenrath/Natural Exposures Photography

Susan J. Cohen hears a lot of sad stories as an immigration lawyer; some are hard to forget.

“There’s not always a happy ending in immigration cases,” says Cohen, who chairs the immigration section at Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo in Boston.

To help her process some of those hard-to-forget cases, Cohen has turned to folk music. She recently released In Time, a self-produced CD in which she shares some of her work experiences through music.

One song, “Out of the Race,” is about a client who wanted to help an undocumented employee whom he’d come to think of as a son.

The client hoped the employee could get legal immigration status and also wanted to help the employee find a place to live.

“There was no way to regulate this guy’s status because he had been here illegally for so long,” says Cohen, who co-chairs the Immigration and Naturalization Committee of the ABA’s Section of International Law.

Cohen paid about $20,000 to make the CD and is donating the proceeds from the sales to the Political Asylum/Immigration Rep­resentation Project in Boston.

While the music provides a release for her, Cohen also hopes it will make people think twice about U.S. immigration laws. “It’s a way I can educate people about public policy issues.”

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