The immigration bar lost one of its legends today. Steve Fischel, an immigration lawyer who spent most of his career in senior positions at the State Department, died here in Vancouver where nearly 3,000 of his fellow lawyers and many of his best friends were attending the annual meeting of the American Immigration Lawyers Association meeting.

Steve's distinguished career is described in his bio on his web site. Most people remember Steve as someone who always put the interests of the American people first, but also a person who had genuine compassion and one who even the most junior immigration lawyers were not afraid to approach since he was always willing to listen to our concerns. When he decided after more than three decades at the State Department to join the ranks of the immigration bar, he was welcomed with open arms.

Friends of Steve will remember him as a gregarious, humorous man who loved people (and his Washington Capitols hockey team). I was fortunate to get to know Steve in the last year and count myself in the ranks of those who are devastated by his loss. He will be fondly remembered. Rest in peace, Steve.

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