From the Heart
Posted Nov 1, 2009 8:50 PM CST
By Stephanie Francis Ward
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.”