"Practicing Immigration law is a most rewarding profession. I have the opportunity to assist the best and brightest build a life in this country, a country I love. I get to contribute in a small way to the success of this country through the success of my clients."
H. Ronald Klasko's Story
Ron's immigration law practice began as a reply to a memo. While working at a general practice law firm after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law, a senior partner sent around a memo asking for an attorney to take on the two or three immigration cases they received each year. Due to his interest
in foreign cultures, travel and working with people, Ron agreed, and his career took on a whole new direction.
After attending his first Association of Immigration and Nationality Lawyers (later to become the American Immigration Lawyers Association, AILA) Conference, Ron embraced the strong commitment shared by members of the immigration legal community. One of his first cases was with a Chinese immigrant in Philadelphia, whom he impressed by being an honest, dedicated and hard working lawyer. After that Ron gained the trust of the larger Chinese community. His immigration practice grew steadily each year and in the early 1980s, it became his sole practice. After moving into a larger multi-practice firm for 15 years, in 2003 Ron left and formed his own firm - Klasko, Rulon, Stock & Seltzer, LLP.
One of the first speeches that Ron ever gave on immigration was on the topic of the deportation and denaturalization of Nazi war criminals. From this, he became the chair of the National Jewish Community organization on Nazi Germany War Criminals and brought the issue to AILA to form a panel dedicated to the topic. That was Ron's first involvement with AILA, where he went on to become the Chairman of the Philadelphia chapter, a national board member, and in 1988, its president. For three years, Ron served as AILA's general counsel, in which position he was one of the key negotiators with the government regarding the interpretation of the 245(i) grandfathering legislation of 2001. This allowed undocumented immigrants to pay a penalty to adjust to lawful immigrant status provided they had the appropriate sponsorship. For his contribution on behalf of immigrants, Ron was the second practicing lawyer ever to be honored with the AILA Founder's Award. Currently, Ron serves as chair of the AILA EB-5 Committee on investor-based immigration.
Because Philadelphia is a center for universities and hospitals, Ron's practice has evolved to be highly focused on immigration work within the medical fields. He is the chair of the Healthcare Institutions Interest Group (HIIG) of NAFSA, and his firm is the first global advocate partner firm of NAFSA. He continues his work in the Jewish community and has served on the Board of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) of Philadelphia for over twenty years, as well as acting as vice president for immigration policy for HIAS Philadelphia. Ron has also testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary and the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform. He regularly lectures before various government agencies and universities and is the co-author of the two-volume Employer's Immigration Compliance Guide (Matthew Bender 1985).