Meet Sharon Khunkhun – Running As Democrat Judicial Delegate For Queens County
Not competent enough to sit idle and stare as the…
Meet Ravisharon Kaur Khunkhun (Sharon Khunkhun), who is running as Judicial Delegate in the 24th Assembly District in Queens County to make sure we have judges in the county who understand immigrants. Over the course of more than 19 years, Khunkhun has dedicated her practice to representing a multitude of interests before specializing in immigration law.
In a tête-à-tête with DissDash, Sharon Khunkhun spoke about her legal career and more about why she wants to run for the Judicial Delegate for Queens County.
“In 2002 I began my legal career as a Court Attorney (Law Clerk) for a Queens County Judge for the New York City Court system after graduating from St. John’s School of Law. I served as Court Attorney for a year in the criminal court and then for a year in civil court. At that time there were no Indians in the Queens County court system, even though there were a significant number of litigants who were desi – whether it was Landlord-Tenant Court, Civil Court, Small Claims Court, Criminal Court, etc.”
“During those two years, something shifted in me. Living in Richmond Hill, I became sensitive to how our communities in Queens are underserved and under-represented. I felt like I had neither the know-how or the power to change that. I went on then to work for a large law firm working on class action litigation. I did that for about 5 years and then took a hiatus from the law to work full-time on a non-profit organization, SEVA NYC, in Richmond Hill that I had co-founded. We worked tirelessly doing community organizing and trying to create civic awareness around the 2010 Census; redistricting; voter engagement, etc., and of course, youth empowerment in the Sikh and Indo-Caribbean communities.”
Sharon then joined a large products liability firm in their toxic torts division where she represented manufacturers in national and international complex toxic and mass tort litigation, including federal class actions, multi-district litigation, and appeals – involving chemical exposures, environmental contaminants, herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides, as well as other chemicals, compounds, and products considered persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic.
After ten years of litigation experience, Sharon Khunkhun opened her own practice—a full-service immigration and nationality law firm. Having worked with several Fortune 500 companies, and small to medium-sized IT Consulting companies all over the United States, Sharon specializes in employment-based skilled worker visas including filing H-1B petitions (H-1B Cap-Subject, H-1B Cap Exempt, H-1B Transfers, and H-1B Amendments). She has also helped companies successfully petition immigrant visas (Green-card) for their employees. Her expertise in filing ETA Labor Certifications, I-140 petition, and I-485 (adjustment of status) have helped her earn great respect and accolade in both the IT and Fashion industries.
She has also helped individuals with national interest waiver for extraordinary ability aliens, and extraordinary ability alien immigrant visa petitions. In addition to helping numerous individuals across the world obtain the O-1, extraordinary abilities visa across many spectrums including musicians, singers, dancers, and photographers. She has also obtained an O-1 visa for entrepreneurs. Her extensive experience in immigration law also includes E-2 Treaty Trader and Treaty Investor visa applications, R-1 religious workers visa applications, and naturalization. Sharon is also very passionate about complicated family-based immigrant visa petitions and K-1 fiancée visas and uses creative strategies to obtain results for her clients.
Sharon Khunkhun continues to represent clients in personal injury actions in the five boroughs of New York City while also running the immigration and nationality division.
Running alongside Sharon Khunkhun is Ali Najmi, a criminal defense, and personal injury trial attorney.
“I am running as a Judicial Delegate with a long time friend who is like a little brother to me, Ali Najmi. I met him when he joined SEVA NYC, and we began doing some deep organizing together. His heart is in the right place when it comes to community work. Those were definitely some of my most rewarding years. Two years later I went on to start my own law firm practicing immigration law.”
“In 2017, I became a founding member of the South Asian Indo-Caribbean (SAIC) Bar Association of Queens County – an organization we founded to bring together attorneys of SAIC descent who are from, or practice in, the borough of Queens for the purposes of professional development and legal excellence; increasing diversity in the judiciary and profession, and increasing access to legal services and justice for all communities in Queens. We did this to make sure our SAIC attorneys are supported and also guided as to how they can become a judge in Queens County for example.”
Sharon Khunkhun stresses again why she decided to run for Judicial Delegate saying, “The important thing I feel is that we have as many good attorneys and representatives in positions where we can work together and have a powerful voice. As a judicial delegate, I can vote for someone who is running for judge on behalf of my assembly district. I can speak for my community and say, “yes, I vote for this gentleman who has a turban or this woman who wears hijaab – of course, they would have to be vetted to make sure they pass all other requirements such as excellence and ethics in the law.”
“It does shock me that in 2020 we still don’t have the type of diversity in our Queens County Supreme Court that reflects what we see in our local population.”
“The judicial process is partly political, which is why I felt the need to enter this race as a Judicial Delegate. As a Judicial Delegate, I would have the privilege of being a voice for the people who live in Richmond Hill, Bellerose, Floral Park, and Jamaica. The comfort that a desi person has when they see a desi judge on the bench when they walk into an intimidating courtroom is priceless. Justice is priceless, fairness is priceless, dignity is priceless. To be seen as a human is priceless – while I can’t guarantee that this will always happen, at least I know that I reached outside of myself to try to bring about an idea, and in trying, maybe I would get half-way there.”
And most importantly Sharon Khunkhun believes that, “It can help look past certain prejudices that some people still hold. In this time of turmoil and mistreatment of minorities, its even more important to step up and take some power back.”
Get your absentee ballot at www.nycabsentee.com
Not competent enough to sit idle and stare as the world goes by, Pallavi is optimistic to a fault and believes in building her world on her own rather than depending on others to make things right.