Colleen Wilcox | July 17, 2019
Samantha Caesar ’14, originally from Baldwin, New York, is an immigration attorney in Washington, D.C. As an associate in Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen and Loewy, LLP’s Government Strategies group, she helps immigrants navigate the U.S. immigration system and find solutions to challenging problems. She writes about how a Notre Dame education and experience abroad in Ireland led to a fascinating and fulfilling career.
My path to becoming an immigration attorney started and took off at Notre Dame. There, I majored in political science with a concentration in international relations. My very first courses at Notre Dame taught me about what motivates political actors across the globe, from the beginning of the modern state system up until the present day. I was drawn to courses that touched on foreign relations and wanted to learn about how different countries organized their political systems.
At the same time, I was deeply curious about the human aspect of political affairs. Notre Dame offered courses that allowed me to explore my more specific interests within the broader net of political science, such as Political Economy of Globalization and NGOs in International Relations, both taught by faculty member Susan Rosato. In addition, two of my political science courses ultimately led to minoring in those areas — Irish Politics with Rev. Sean McGraw, C.S.C, led to a minor in Irish studies and Human Rights and Human Wrongs with associate professor Ernesto Verdeja led to a minor in peace studies. Both minors gave me insight into conflict resolution and problems people face in different areas of the world.
During the summer, Notre Dame helped me obtain internships that led me to a career that lays at the crossroads of law and policy, helping individuals from all over the world come to the United States. In the summer of 2012, I interned at the U.S. House of Representatives. By day, I attended meetings for the Committee on Foreign Relations and Intelligence, and by night I discussed politics of the day with my Notre Dame roommates and apartment neighbors, who also were interning on Capitol Hill.
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