Raisa Cohen ‘07: From Immigrant to Immigration Choose

May perhaps 1, 2024

Hon. Raisa Cohen has presided as an Immigration Judge in the New York Federal Plaza Immigration Courtroom considering the fact that 2016. Her provider on the bench follows an earlier career as Assistant Chief Counsel for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and as an immigration lawyer in personal practice. Judge Cohen’s journey from a young refugee to a distinguished Immigration Decide embodies the essence of the American dream, interwoven with a steadfast commitment to justice.

As a baby developing up in the former Soviet Republic of Uzbekistan, Choose Cohen witnessed firsthand what existence is like for men and women who are denied primary legal rights and freedoms, together with the correct to categorical their views and physical exercise their spiritual beliefs. “One of the classes I drew from that experience is that justice is dependent not only on the guidelines, but on these who interpret and apply them,” Judge Cohen reflects. Her immigration to the United States as a refugee opened a new chapter, a single filled with possibilities and the promise of flexibility. 

Choose Cohen’s pursuit of regulation was deeply particular, pushed by her very own activities and the need to make a meaningful change in society. Her instructional journey at St. John’s Regulation was pivotal, marking the beginning of her lifelong determination to immigration law. As a college student there, she participated in the Refugee and Immigrant Legal rights Litigation Clinic run in partnership with Catholic Charities’ Immigration Legal Products and services Department. 

Under the supervision of senior attorneys, Clinic students represent immigrants—many refugees and asylees—in elimination and appellate proceedings. “In the Clinic, I adopted a large regular of good lawyering, an outstanding perform ethic, and a passion for immigration legislation,” states Judge Cohen. “I recall my initial working day in immigration court docket showing as a pupil attorney. Minor did I know I would turn out to be an Immigration Decide and share the bench with judges who I admire and acquired from.”

Decide Cohen’s changeover from non-public exercise to govt provider was out of a determination to provide the community and make a tangible affect. “My grandfather, who went by means of war, persecution, and other hardships, sat me down and explained, ‘Raisa, we have sacrificed every thing for you to occur right here. Not only do we want you to find a new home in this place, but we also want you to make a variation in people’s lives,’” she remembers, incorporating, “So, my drive to come to be a decide was not only to even more justice. It was fueled by the promise I created to my grandfather to make a significant contribution to the U.S. judicial system and to be the sort of choose that our technique is dependent on: rigorously genuine, impartial, and impartial.”

Considering the fact that getting an Immigration Choose, Decide Cohen has navigated the complexities of immigration law with empathy and intellect. “Intersecting with criminal legislation, household courtroom difficulties, and tax law, immigration regulation is intellectually stimulating and socially major,” she suggests. Her method to the bench is shaped by her special viewpoint as an immigrant, a demo legal professional, and a personal bar legal professional. “In a variety of capacities, I have presided more than numerous removal proceedings, bond hearings, and complicated situations involving nationwide stability problems, persecutor and human legal rights abuser concerns, as effectively as immigration fraud. These ordeals have provided me a exclusive viewpoint on the role of each and each individual celebration to the proceedings.”

As she appears to be to the upcoming, Judge Cohen stays dedicated to contributing to the lawful neighborhood and mentoring the upcoming era of attorneys. Satisfying her promise, Decide Cohen has not only furthered justice but has also develop into an emblem of hope and probability for immigrants and a testament to the effects an unique can make as a result of commitment and integrity.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this tale do not depict the formal posture of the U.S. Section of Justice, the Attorney General, or the Govt Office environment for Immigration Critique.

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