Not so long ago, it was difficult to find an attorney in Wisconsin to handle immigration matters.
People in need of help were frequently referred to lawyers in Chicago due to a lack of experienced attorneys here at home.
But that has since changed, and much of the credit goes to Jerome Grzeca.
After graduating from Marquette University Law School in 1988, Grzeca practiced immigration law in a number of Washington, D.C., firms before returning to Wisconsin in 1995 to establish his own immigration firm in Milwaukee, Grzeca Law Group SC.
Grzeca handles the “corporate side” of immigration law, he said, assisting businesses in getting visas for key employees and handling compliance with regulations. When approached by potential clients seeking representation in the “family side” of immigration law, such as asylum or removal, he used to have to refer them to a Chicago firm.
But when a friend, John Sesini, who had been practicing criminal law, said he needed a change, Grzeca convinced him to office share and go into immigration law on the family side. Sesini is now a partner at the firm, which employs seven attorneys and handles the full scope of immigration needs.
“Jerry only handles the business side of immigration,” Sesini said. “However, he is very passionate about the issues in immigration law and making people understand why it’s good for the country. He has great skill in taking complicated issues and making them easy to understand.”
The biggest challenges in immigration law, Grzeca said, are the political attitudes that filter down into the regulatory decisions.
“There is a very restrictive mindset when it comes to immigration,” he said, “and it filters down to the rank and file immigration officials.”
The second biggest challenge Grzeca faces, he said, is it takes a long time to train new associates in this complicated field of law. But he’s optimistic about the potential for future growth, he said.
“There’s a big need for immigration lawyers, and it will continue to grow,” he said.
The local chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, which Grzeca chaired for many years, has doubled in less than a decade. Grzeca now serves on the Board of Governors of the national chapter and is a frequent lecturer on immigration law issues around the country.