June 30, 2008

Steve Fischel - Rest in Peace

On Saturday, my friend and colleague Steve Fischel, passed away after having heart surgery to repair an aortic anuerism and valve. He was attending the American Immigration Lawyers Association annual conference in Vancouver, Canada.

Steve spent 31 years with the U.S. Department of State in a distinguished career and joined the immigration attorney bar in 2005.

Stephen Fischel, a graduate of University of Santa Clara Law School, commenced his government career in January 1974 with the Passport Office, U.S. Department of State, adjudicating citizenship cases. He transferred in 1975 to the Visa Office, also, of the Bureau of Consular Affairs at State where he served in several capacities until he became the Director of the Office of Legislation, Regulations, and Advisory Assistance.

As the primary advisor to the Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs on all visa related legal matters, including immigration policy, he oversaw the Advisory Opinions Division, the Legislation and Regulations Division, the Coordination Division controlling security advisory opinions, and the Waiver Review Division.

Steve was associated with FMF Global Law Group (www.fmfgloballaw.com) and was a Fellow with the Migration Policy Institute (www.migrationpolicy.org). Stephen received the 2006 American Immigration Law Foundation’s Distinguished Public Service Award in March, 2006. (www.ailf.org) Steve was on the American Immigration Law Foundation's board of trustees.

May your thoughts and prayers be with his family.

Steve will be missed by many, including me.

Heaven will now be better able to process those who belong in Heaven and those who do not, thanks to Steve.

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