MSU adjunct professor shares his vast experience in field of immigration law

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By Sheila Pursglove

Legal News

Immigration attorney N. Peter Antone can empathize with his clients and brings personal insights to their cases: he himself came to these shores from his native Iraq in 1978, and has called Michigan home every since.

Antone is a co-founder of Antone, Casagrande & Adwers in Farmington Hills, practicing exclusively in all areas of employment and family based U.S. immigration law including Business Visas, Green Cards, Work Permits, Naturalization and Citizenship, Employer Assistance, and other immigration petitions. Attorneys in the firm assist individuals, families, small businesses, and multi-national corporations in the U.S. and around the world, with many languages spoken in the firm, including Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, French, Aramaic, and Arabic.

"We help deserving immigrants achieve the American dream," Antone says. "We fight for the statutory, constitutional, and human rights, as well as the civil liberties, of any immigrant, whether legal or undocumented. And, by doing so, we help the society at large, since America is and will always be a great nation of immigrants. I'm thrilled to take part in a field that is subject matter of current national discussion."

A member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and of the Michigan Bar, Antone also shares his expertise as an adjunct professor at Michigan State University College of Law where he teaches Immigration and Nationality Law.

"What I enjoy most is that I learn with my students," he says. "Through my interaction with them, I gain knowledge, as they keep me thinking. Immigration law has become much more complex over the years."

Antone graduated summa cum laude in 1985 from MSU Law's older incarnation, Detroit College of Law.

"The new campus is very beautiful, modern, and more spacious," he says. "The student body is geographically more diverse, both from the various parts of the U.S. as well as the world. Some of my students were from Southeast Asia, Africa, Latin America, East Europe and other parts of the world. It's definitely a huge improvement to be associated with MSU."

He used to participate in moot court and similar activities, but the long drive from his home to East Lansing has curtailed some of those activities.

A frequent speaker on immigration issues, and a participant in several seminars, public policy panels, business institute workshops, TV interviews, and public events dealing with immigration matters, Antone says the country needs to balance the respect of the rule of law with the need to maintain its values as a great country of immigrants.

"To that effect, we need reasonable and responsible laws that can then be respected by all. Our current immigration law is broken, is often too harsh resulting in needless separation and destruction of families, is too bureaucratic resulting in wasteful expenditure of taxpayer money without adding much value, and is not responsive to the needs of our industries for top talent as well as for special unskilled labor. It creates disincentives to the brightest of the world to stay here, and is otherwise easily vulnerable to demagoguery," he says.

"We as a nation need to be able to discuss the issues of immigration in an intelligent way, and to devise solutions that will work. I see that as a critical challenge to our country."

His own route to this country was after earning bachelor's and master's degrees in engineering.

"I thought it would be exciting to build something new in this world," he says.

He worked in Iraq in major oil projects before immigrating to the U.S, where he obtained the Professional Engineering Board and managed a small engineering firm in Michigan while attending law school at night.

"After my immigration to the U.S., I became fascinated by U.S. society and wanted to know more about it. I then thought the best way to study a society is to learn its laws."

He practiced for three years with Bodman, Longley & Dahling in Detroit.

"I enjoyed the high quality of the work and the fine character of their attorneys many of whom were and still are my friends."

In 1988, Antone started a practice specializing in all areas of Immigration Law, and has successfully represented major international corporations as well as families and individuals in various aspects of U.S. Immigration Law, in the United States and abroad. He has also done private studies in finance and economics and uses that knowledge personally and to help friends and relatives who might need informal advice.

Named a Super Lawyer by Super Lawyer Magazine, and a Top Lawyer by dbusiness Magazine, Antone has over the years volunteered his time to serve in many non-profit organizations and participated in several task force and Judicial Advisory committees. Currently, he serves as an honorary but active member of the Board of Directors of the French School of Detroit.

Married with two children, he enjoys reading and exercising - "where I try, with some difficulty, to keep in shape," he says with a smile.

Published: Mon, Mar 5, 2012

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