One Nation Under the Law


Overview

Published: 06/25/2013

by Frontiers Staff

Photos

Anyone who has ever entertained the idea of seriously dating a non-U.S. citizen or contemplated the notion of relocating a friend or relative from anywhere outside of America’s borders has also no doubt been confronted by immigration law and the Byzantine labyrinth of forms and offices associated with it. To call the process daunting would be an understatement, but that is not to say that legal immigration prospects of non-U.S. citizens need be so—particularly with the right champion in your corner. Ally Bolour is one such advocate.

As an immigration lawyer in private practice since 1996, Bolour has represented clients from over 70 countries. The experience has not only given the Los Angeles-based attorney a command of the law but also helped him to develop what he describes as the “good bedside manner” that sets his practice apart.

“Immigration law is not simple. In fact, it’s considered the most complex area of law after tax law,” Bolour says. “I get to know my clients, [and] I’ve learned to appreciate cultural differences and be receptive to my clients’ needs. I think that’s absolutely necessary for effective representation.”

Perhaps more importantly, Bolour has established himself as a leading advocate on behalf of the LGBT community with a history of activism that dates back to the ‘80s and his days in college. “Even within immigration law, attorneys tend to specialize in a particular area,” he explains. “Over the years, I have focused on serving the LGBT community, because I think as a gay man, I have the opportunity to better understand our community’s needs. I know what it is like to be denied equal rights or be brushed aside and be told to wait my turn. I try to mitigate, to the best of my ability, the effects of the unequal treatment we face under the law.”

Speaking of unequal treatment under the law, despite the promise of favorable upcoming Supreme Court decisions, Bolour warns against thinking that ingrained discrimination against LGBTs under American law will suddenly disappear overnight.

“There are a lot of changes coming to the area of immigration and nationality law,” he says. “For example, by the time this interview is published, the Defense of Marriage Act, DOMA, may already be in the dustbin of history.  However, that does not mean the end of LGBT discrimination within immigration law. Depending on how the justices rule, we could end up with different treatment of LGBT families depending on the state they reside in.”

And so the work—and, indeed, the fight—continues. Though he says the one aspect of immigration law most of his clients simply don’t understand is that “it’s a bunch of forms just waiting to be filled out,” it’s also clear that Ally Bolour does so much more.
    
Find out more about the Law Offices of Ally Bolour at americanvisas.net.