On June 9, 2022, MYLS founder and Gehi & Associates Principal, Naresh M. Gehi, was honored by the South Asian and Indo-Caribbean Bar Association of Queens (SAICBAQ), for his contributions to the legal profession, the borough of Queens, and the global South Asian and Indo-Caribbean communities. The occasion was SAICBAQ’s annual gala, where scores of attendees gathered, and where Mr. Gehi spoke alongside a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, a New York State Senator, as well as federal and state judges.
In a speech introducing Mr. Gehi, SAICBAQ Executive Vice President and Queens prosecutor Ajay Chheda highlighted Mr. Gehi’s public service as an advisor to the President of Suriname, the finance committee of Hillary Rodham Clinton, and federal and state representatives. Mr. Chheda also made note of Mr. Gehi’s storied list of clients, whose number include everyone from UN Diplomats to Bollywood stars like Sharukh Khan. New York State Senator Jessica Ramos also commended Mr. Gehi for his public service and distinguished career that night.
For his own part, Mr. Gehi spoke that night of the difficulties immigrants have historically faced in the legal profession, but also of their ability to overcome those obstacles by contributing to their communities and fostering inclusion and loving compassion. The inseparability of inclusion and compassion was a recurring theme for Mr. Gehi that became explicit has he built toward his conclusion. At the end of his speech, Mr. Gehi directly addressed the prosecutors and judges in the room, and urged them to employ these principles when considering the consequences of their decisions and rulings for immigrant defendants. Mr. Gehi noted that, in some cases, often their professional views were at conflict with the principles of humanity and discretion that should govern their practice, and Mr. Gehi urged them to prioritize the latter.
In a passionate and moving speech that came “directly from the heart,” Mr. Gehi reminded the judges and prosecutors in the room that, when their decisions lead to deportations, it is not just immigrants who are harmed, but American families that are often torn apart and destroyed. Emphasizing that the family was the foundation of America, Mr. Gehi reiterated his call to everyone in the room to exercise their efforts and authority in service of the principles of humanity, the family, America, and love.