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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A veteran lawyer crosses over to help immigrants

It’s a testament to the power of the immigration issue that circumstances could cause someone to move from arresting suspected terrorists to helping defend immigrant rights.

Last week’s issue of City Pages contained an interesting story about Mark Cangemi, a former investigator for the Twin Cities branch of the Immigration and Naturalization Service. In his role with the INS, Cangemi was involved in the arrest of Zacarias Moussaoui, the so-called “20th hijacker” who allegedly helped plan the 9/11 attacks.

Six years later, after facing mandatory retirement from the INS, Cangemi mulled his options and finally landed in an unexpected location: Igbanugo Partners International, a Minneapolis-based immigration law firm with a reputation for its defense of immigrant rights. Cangemi, a 1992 graduate of William Mitchell College of Law, is a partner with the firm.

Crossing over hasn’t been easy for a seasoned attorney used to enforcement and prosecution, but Cangemi’s story is an interesting look at how a twist in one’s career can lead to unanticipated destinations.

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