- Former president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association
- Current president of the American Immigration Council
- Believes that American immigration restrictions are too severe
A 1977 graduate of the University of Illinois College of Law, Paul Zulkie is the Managing Principal of Zulkie Partners LLC, a Chicago-based, business-immigration-law firm where he has worked since 2000. He was the president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association from 2004-05, and has served as president of the American Immigration Council (formerly known as the American Immigration Law Foundation) since 2005.
The author of the 1987 book Immigration Compliance in Employment and Business, which analyzes the enforcement of employer sanctions and business-related visa issues, Zulkie is a frequent lecturer at Continuing Legal Education seminars on the subject of business immigration. He has written numerous articles on this topic for nationally distributed publications. And through his law firm, Zulkie processes hundreds of immigration applications annually.
In December 2003, Zulkie lamented that in the post-9/11 era, the federal government was subjecting immigration applications to stricter scrutiny than ever before. “The ‘Culture of No’ has become an epidemic with both the Homeland Security Department and U.S. consulates abroad,” he said. “Every decision to approve a visa is viewed through the prism of national security. In the old days, all a student had to establish was the ability to pay for an education, as well as document an intention to return home after getting the degree. That has all changed.”
In a March 2012 interview, Zulkie likewise complained that the enforcement of U.S. immigration laws in recent years had become too strict. “It’s been extremely destructive and frustrating for the business community,” he said. “Many companies have just given up trying to obtain immigration benefits that were readily available for them and their employees in years gone by. This is clearly having a negative impact on job growth in the United States.”
During the presidential primary season of 2016, Zulkie Partners derided Republican front-runner Donald Trump, who had been catapulted to the top of the polls by his pledge to strengthen American border security and to strictly regulate immigration. Specifically, the firm objected to Trump’s “[disrespectful] language, especially toward immigrants, and his support for violence against those who disagree with him.” “One of Trump’s most controversial plans,” said Zulkie Partners, “involves sending all undocumented immigrants back to their home countries and building a wall on the U.S-Mexico border…. Trump’s plan to ‘make America great again’ fails to acknowledge that much of the greatness that we know today can be credited to immigrants, both documented and undocumented.”
Further Reading: “Paul Zulkie” (Linkedin.com, ZulkiePartners.com); “Smart Advice on Student Visas: Immigration Expert Paul Zulkie Tackles Some Tough Issues …” (Bloomberg.com, 12-22-2003); “Day in the Life of Attorney Paul Zulkie” (interview with Zulkie, by LawLogix.com, 3-1-2012); “What Would Trump’s Immigration Plan Really Cost the U.S.?” (ZulkiePartners.com, 2016).