immigration lawyer


The law office of Popkin and Shamir in Los Angeles was established by a husband/wife team of lawyers: Richard C.  Popkin and Ruth Shamir Popkin.  The time was when Congress made great changes in our immigration law by enacting our present Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).  This law, in its basic structure, is still the governing law today.  The previous immigration system discriminated in favor of immigrants from Europe and against immigrants from Asia and Latin America.  The new law (INA) treats immigrants of all countries equally, providing immigrant visas on the basis of family relations to citizen and permanent residents of the U.S. and on the basis of professional skills.  The new law enabled the new firm of Popkin and Shamir to be pioneers in their services and outreach to all communities.

A few years later, attorneys Richard Popkin and Ruth Shamir invited attorney Jack Golan to join their partnership.  Since then, the law firm of Popkin, Shamir & Golan has provided and continues to provide legal advices and legal assistance to many thousands of immigrants from all communities.

This firm is a full-service immigration law firm in Los Angeles assisting people to achieve permanent legal status in all available categories (Family, Employment, Registry, Asylum, etc.), or temporary status under various non-immigrant visas (Employment, Student, others).  The firm also helps immigrants with their next step: becoming American Citizen. An important side of the firm's work is in defending people against removal (deportation) in the various courts that handle deportation cases (Immigration Courts and Federal Courts). Such cases could be brought against legal immigrants holding Green Cards as well as against illegal immigrants who never had Green Cards. In this area, the firm's motto has always been that: TIME IS ON THE SIDE OF THE ALIEN.  The longer we can keep the alien here legally, the better it is for the alien and his or her family: sooner or later something positive might happen to change the case in favor of the alien.

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RICHARD C. POPKIN, attorney at law, was a CPA and an attorney. He graduated from Rutgers University and obtained his Juris Doctor from University of Southern California. He founded Popkin, Shamir & Golan, a law firm in Los Angeles with his wife.  Richard Popkin was a dedicated trial attorney, active in the California Trial Lawyers Association. He handled mostly personal injury and workers compensation cases.  Richard Popkin passed away in 2010.

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DR. RUTH SHAMIR POPKIN grew up in Israel. She obtained her undergraduate degree from Southern Illinois University and her law degree from Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles. She is a member of California's and Israel's State Bars.

Dr. Shamir Popkin established her law firm, Popkin, Shamir & Golan with her late husband, Richard C. Popkin. Ruth practiced immigration law while her husband specialized in civil litigation.

The history of the Jewish people through the diaspora and the Holocaust instilled in her a commitment to help immigrants escaping war and persecution.  She won special recognition for assisting Filipino War Veterans in obtaining U.S. citizenship. 

Ruth started practicing in the field of Immigration And Nationality Law in 1966.  There were very few lawyers in Los Angeles practicing in this field.  Most were not aware of the major change in Immigration Law that took place in 1965.

Ruth still remembers her first two cases of a Filipino client who was arrested in Mexico after trying to re-enter the U.S. and of a Jordanian student who almost lost his student visa.  She saved both of them.

Over the years, Ruth Shamir Popkin has represented individuals from all over the world and accompanied them in their quest to obtain permanent residence in the U.S. while their home countries underwent major political changes and upheavals.

She represented Iranians who left Iran before and after the Revolution, Filipino veterans who fought on the side of America during World War II and were unjustly denied U.S. citizenship.  The firm had also established for a while an office in Manila.  She obtained asylum for Burmese students during the political upheaval in Burma, now known as Myanmar, and for Eastern Europeans fleeing from communism before the fall of the Soviet Union.

For many years, the firm had an office in Hong Kong, where many immigrated to the U.S. before the British possession was returned to China.

The firm obtained amnesty for hundreds of clients during the Amnesty period passed during the Reagan administration.

Now, too, Atty. Shamir Popkin advocates for major overhaul of the immigration law because the present law does not serve the country and its economic needs.  There is no way but to provide some sort of legalization for the millions of illegals who live in the U.S. have established families and businesses over the years.  According to Shamir Popkin, there is no other way to treat all these millions, because no government, not even President Trump can deport from the U.S. millions of people who have established their lives here.  Most of them are good citizens contributing to society and the economy.  One can try to stop the next inflow of illegals, but those who have been here for many years will have to be legalized.  Both political parties had opportunities to pass a new comprehensive immigration law and also to normalize the illegal status of the millions who have been living here for years. 

In 2010, Ruth Shamir Popkin obtained a Ph.D. in Cultural Studies from Claremont Graduate University.  Her dissertation: THE EVOLUTION OF JEWISH IDENTITY IN THE NATIONAL AND POST-NATIONAL WORLD was later expanded into a book, "JEWISH IDENTITY – THE CHALLENGE OF PEOPLEHOOD TODAY",  published in English and Hebrew. 

Ruth  published  two other books: The Chinese Galaxy (1977) about China after Mao's death and  All My Vows (1982) about the Yom Kippur War in the Middle East. 

 Active in Jewish, Israeli and Los Angeles institutions, she is a member of the Board of Directors of the Museum of the Jewish People (Beit Hatfutsot), in Israel, where she established a foundation for the documentation of Polish Jewry.

Ruth is a contributor to the Los Angeles Music Center, Los Angeles Opera, Center Theater Group and the Geffen Theater in Los Angeles as well as the Israeli Philharmonic and Opera.   Her Board memberships include: the Board of Governors of the University of Tel-Aviv in Israel, the Advisory Board of the UCLA Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies  and the Westside Jewish Community Center.

 Ruth is mother of a daughter and a son and grandmother to three young boys.

As an attorney, she continues to represent clients with U.S. immigration issues and her law firm supports all efforts to pass a Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act.

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JACK GOLAN, attorney at law, is holder of two law degrees (Juris Doctor and LLM in Taxation). Golan devotes his practice to immigration matters with special emphasis on employment based application for Immigrant visas or working visas.

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RUSSELL L. MARSHAK, attorney at law, earned bachelor's degrees from the University of California at Santa Barbara and also holds a Juris Doctor. Marshak devotes his practice to litigating complex immigration and citizenship issues in Immigration Court, at Board of Immigration Appeals and in Federal Courts, obtaining the many kinds of waivers ("pardon") available under the Immigration laws and advising regarding the immigration consequences of crimes.

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PHUONG DIEM MAI, attorney at law, holds a B.S. degree in Political Science and a Juris Doctor degree from Santa Clara University. Mai devotes her practice representation of applicants for Permanent Residency and applicants for Naturalization before various offices of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) and applicants for Stay of Deportation before office of U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE).

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