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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily

Immigrant of the week : Somi Ali and Simon Cho

by Greg Siskind

IMMIGRANT OF THE DAY: SOMY ALI - ACTRESS/RESCUER

Somy ali
Pakistani-born Somy Ali is a former Bollywood actress who is also a model and journalist as well as a purveyor of her own line of clothing. But she's getting a lot of attention these days for her work with No More Tears, an organization she founded in 2006 in South Florida to help immigrant women who are facing domestic abuse.

Here's how the Miami Herald describes her work:

Today, her four-bedroom Plantation home is the headquarters of No More Tears, a nonprofit Ali founded in 2006 to help immigrant women in South Florida escape domestic abuse.

The women (46 so far) hail from distant lands -- India, Russia, Guyana -- and nearby countries including Cuba and the Bahamas. They come from many faiths, and often arrive in South Florida via arranged marriages. They're cleaning women. Homemakers. Teachers.

Ali, 34, finds them apartments and rounds up donated furnishings. She lines up jobs or training, registers their kids in school and baby-sits when needed. All the while, she inches the women toward independence.

``It is like they are being held captive. They don't have a say,'' she says. ``It's ridiculous that this is happening in the United States. We have to learn about it and do something about it.''


IMMIGRANT OF THE DAY: SIMON CHO - OLYMPIC SPEED SKATER

Simon-cho-2009-9-8-20-10-59
ABC News is reporting this month on illegal immigration in its "Out of the Shadows" series of reports. They're meeting different undocumented individuals to find out what brought them to America and why they entered illegally or fell out of status. One extraordinary story told is that of the Cho family from Korea. The father was a green card holder but called the many years of separation from his wife and children "torture". He helped them cross the border illegally from Canada. The family eventually all became legal under the now expired 245(i) law. The young son Simon Cho grew up to become an Olympic speed skater for Team USA. He tells his story here.


About The Author

Greg Siskind is a partner in Siskind Susser's Memphis, Tennessee, office. After graduating magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University, he received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Chicago. Mr. Siskind is a member of AILA, a board member of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, and a member of the ABA, where he serves on the LPM Publishing Board as Marketing Vice Chairman. He is the author of several books, including the J Visa Guidebook and The Lawyer's Guide to Marketing on the Internet. Mr. Siskind practices all areas of immigration law, specializing in immigration matters of the health care and technology industries. He can be reached by email at gsiskind@visalaw.com.


The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.


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