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Shahid Haque-Hausrath, President of the Board

Shahid Haque-Hausrath is the founder and President of the Montana Immigrant Justice Alliance (“MIJA”). He is an immigration attorney in Helena, Montana and founder of the Border Crossing Law Firm, P.C. He dedicates his practice to helping immigrants obtain legal status in the United States and pursue all that the country has to offer.

Mr. Haque-Hausrath has represented over a thousand immigrants and their families all across Montana, and has been in contact with over a thousand other immigrants in Montana whom he does not represent as an attorney. He has internalized their stories, their feelings and anxieties, and is one of the few people in Montana who has a broad and clear picture of the diverse immigrant communities throughout Montana, from Glacier to Yellowstone — and in all the small communities all along the way.

In his legal practice, Mr. Haque-Hausrath assists clients with a wide variety of immigration matters, including applications with the consulates and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, representing clients arrested by the Department of Homeland Security, and defending immigrants in removal proceedings in Immigration Court.

Mr. Haque-Hausrath believes strongly that every immigrant deserves the right to legal representation and has committed a significant portion of his practice to pro bono work for especially disadvantaged clients who cannot afford to pay for legal services. In 2009, Mr. Haque-Hausrath was the recipient of the Neil Haight Pro Bono Award, granted by the State Bar of Montana to the attorneys with the greatest commitment to pro bono work.

Mr. Haque-Hausrath has won asylum for over a dozen refugees who fled from their home countries to escape torture, persecution, and death on account of their political beliefs. He was also won cancellation of removal, which is one of the most difficult forms of relief to win due to its high burden of proof, for several clients. Mr. Haque-Hausrath often works with the Montana Legal Services Association, domestic violence shelters, and other non-profit and charitable organizations to assist disadvantaged immigrants in need of help.

Mr. Haque-Hausrath is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. He previously served on the board of of the Montana Human Rights Network, another organization that advocates for immigrant rights. From 2008-2010, Mr. Haque-Hausrath was appointed to serve on the Helena International Affairs Council, which is tasked with promoting the city as an international gateway and embracing the cultures and traditions of our international residents and visitors.

Mr. Haque-Hausrath lobbies for fair immigration policies in the Montana Legislature, and teaches training courses for immigrants and allies on immigration law, debunking myths about immigrants, knowing your rights when dealing with law enforcement, and the need for comprehensive immigration reform. In 2010, Mr. Haque-Hausrath taught a training course at the Western States Center’s Community Strategic Training Initiative in Portland.

Shahid Haque-Hausrath, pictured at a free legal clinic provided for migrants.

Mr. Haque-Hausrath earned his Juris Doctor from the Chicago-Kent College of Law, with High Honors, in 2005. During his first year in law school, he won the West Publishing Award for earning the highest GPA in his class. Mr. Haque-Hausrath served as Notes and Comments Editor of the Chicago-Kent Law Review, where he also published a scholarly article on labor and immigration policy. Upon graduation, he was inducted into the Order of the Coif and won the school’s Bar & Gavel Award for outstanding service to the immigrant community. During law school, Mr. Haque-Hausrath was an intern with the National Immigrant Justice Center. He received his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Sociology from the University of Southern Indiana in 2001.

Prior to focusing exclusively on immigration law, Mr. Haque-Hausrath also practiced complex commercial litigation in state and federal courts. In his commercial litigation practice, Mr. Haque-Hausrath defended individuals and companies in multi-district class action, consumer fraud, securities, and civil RICO litigation. Mr. Haque-Hausrath also practiced before administrative agencies in numerous public service, labor, and taxation proceedings.

Mr. Haque-Hausrath began his career with Jenner & Block LLP and Howrey LLP in Chicago, Illinois. After relocating to Montana, Mr. Haque-Hausrath briefly worked with Browning, Kaleczyc, Berry & Hoven, P.C. in Helena, Montana before opening the Border Crossing Law Firm in 2008.

Shahid Haque-Hausrath, MIJA’s President, pictured with his wife and son.

Mr. Haque-Hausrath is a member of the Illinois and Montana Bars, and is admitted to practice before the U.S. District Courts for Montana and the Northern District of Illinois. Mr. Haque-Hausrath represents immigrants throughout the country, and has appeared before Immigration Courts in numerous states.

Mr. Haque-Hausrath resides in Helena, Montana with his wife, Katherine, and his young son, Desmond. Katherine Haque-Hausrath was elected in 2011 to the Helena City Commission.