Verbum Award honors Chicago attorney devoted to immigration issues
April 10, 2013 — The Society of the Divine Word-Chicago Province presented the 2013 Verbum Award to Scott D. Pollock of Scott D. Pollock & Associates last night at Techny, Ill.
"This award recognizes Scott for his generous service and outstanding legal guidance on immigration matters," said Provincial Superior Thomas Ascheman, SVD.
In 2012, the religious order and the law firm partnered with three other Christian organizations to challenge the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on a disparity between religious worker visa holders and other types of visa holders. The ensuing policy change by the USCIS enabled fair treatment for all religious worker visa holders—allowing them to reclaim time spent out of the United States.
"This policy change benefits not only members of the Society of the Divine Word—and not only Christians—but all religious workers who come from other countries to work in the United States," Father Ascheman said.
Pollock and his legal team have assisted the Divine Word Missionaries with immigration matters since 1995. Over the years, they have provided legal services and information for missionaries from Africa, Asia, Europe, Oceania and South America. They also have assisted the religious congregation in working with U.S. senators and congressmen, Homeland Security personnel, and immigration attorneys who focus on Canadian immigration law.
Pollock, who has practiced U.S. immigration law since 1985, holds a bachelor’s degree from Antioch College in Ohio and a law degree from Brooklyn Law School in New York. He began his career with Minsky, Feiertag, McCormick & Hallagan in Chicago before becoming attorney and program director for Immigration and Refugee Legal Services of Catholic Charities in the Archdiocese of Chicago.
In 1990, Pollock founded Scott D. Pollock & Associates, which specializes in family and employment-based immigration, requirements for employment authorization, employer sanctions, immigrant and non-immigrant visa processing, political asylum, and deportation and exclusion matters.
"Scott and his staff have assisted us in obtaining a number of different types of visas," Father Ascheman said. "Young men in different stages of their formation, as well as men who have served as missionary brothers and priests for decades, have benefited from their expertise. They even have secured the rare H-3 Special Training Visa for novices who came from Portugal, Hungary and Togo [West Africa]."
The Society of the Divine Word’s Chicago Province, the largest in the western hemisphere, oversees the work of more than 250 Roman Catholic missionaries working among the economically disenfranchised, immigrants and minorities in numerous states, Canada and the Caribbean. These SVDs are part of more than 6,000 missionaries in 71 countries.
The Verbum Award has been given 13 times in the past 16 years to honor laypeople who have made significant contributions to the work of the Chicago Province. Past recipients have come from Illinois, New Jersey and Washington, D.C.