It was 1988. Virginia Prodan had no money, spoke no English, and had two children with a baby on the way. But she was finally in the United States. She was finally free.
Prodan, now a Dallas attorney, escaped Communist Romania and was granted political asylum by the United States. She immediately fell in love with the freedom and possibility in America.
She worked hard, graduated from Southern Methodist University law school, and raised three successful children — all without any help from the government.
She takes pride in her journey and has built a career on it. Her journey now frames her commitment as a lawyer to helping immigrants come to America legally.
“I believe that the law should be respected,” Prodan said in a discussion on a recent Heritage Google+ Hangout. “You should have a chance to come to the United States and flourish.”
Many of Prodan’s clients have been waiting for years to complete the legal immigration process. They’ve paid a lot of money and made a lot of sacrifices to become Americans the right way, Prodan said.
Prodan and her clients agree the immigration system is broken. But that doesn’t mean illegal immigrants should be able to receive amnesty—a measure she feels would change the culture of the United States.
“You’re not going to get people to obey the law if you don’t hold them accountable,” she said.
Prodan said she believes amnesty rewards people who broke the law and encourages more illegal immigration.Why would people go through the legal immigration system if they know they could break the law and still eventually be granted an amnesty by the U.S. government?
“We have to fix the immigration law that we have right now, and, more than that, we have to enforce it,” Prodan said.