Detroit News: Akash Patel Writes Op-Ed 'Our Immigration System Is Broken'
Attorney, Hogan Lovells US LLP
Akash Patel is an immigrant from United Kingdom
Fellowship awarded to support work towards a JD in Law at University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
Born in London, Akash Patel is the son of Indian immigrants. Akash's family moved from India to England and then to the United States in the early 1990s in search of a better life. Akash watched his family thrive even with modest means, so he learned early on how to take full advantage of any opportunity to better himself and others.
Akash was less than two years old when he arrived in America, but was not afforded citizenship until the age of 23. Protracted wait times meant that Akash's family lived as undocumented immigrants for 16 of those years until they could adjust their status at all. But Akash's inspiration has always been the struggle and triumph of his sister, Nisha, who aged out of her petition to receive her green card, yet went on to pursue a PhD in Microbiology at the University of Oklahoma (OU). Because of America's broken immigration system, Nisha continues to rely on the Executive Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to live and work in the U.S., but that has not stopped her from becoming a successful microbiologist.
As a result, Akash founded the non-profit Aspiring Americans to serve other undocumented students in Oklahoma, which has raised nearly $350,000. At that same time, Akash also enjoyed working with Oklahoma City Public Schools by serving on the Lau Planning Committee as well as the Superintendent's Diversity Council to ensure that all diverse students groups have equitable educational outcomes. Building on these experiences, Akash then attended law school at the University of Michigan where he had the opportunity to work at the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, Educational Opportunities Section in D.C., extern at the Michigan Immigrants Rights Center, and volunteer as a student attorney with the Juvenile Justice Clinic on campus.
Now, Akash is an attorney at Hogan Lovells in D.C. where he works on regulatory issues in the education and energy fields. Akash also maintains a robust immigration pro bono practice, which includes managing the individual, named plaintiffs in both of the key asylum ban cases against the Trump Administration.
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