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Judge Raymond Lohier Shares His Immigration Story and the Diverse Perspective it Brings

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Daily life became a verbal obstacle course for the French-speaking, six-year-old Raymond J. Lohier, Jr., when his parents moved him from Montreal, Canada, to the city of Philadelphia.

“I’ve lost my French accent, so many people do who immigrate when they’re five or six or seven,” said Judge Lohier, who serves on the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. “But I’ve never really lost the memories.”

In recognition of African American History Month, a new video profile explores Lohier’s Haitian and Caribbean heritage and the story of how his family came to America. 

His parents met in Montreal, after leaving their native Haiti to pursue careers in the medical field. Upon moving to the United States, Lohier’s parents enrolled him in a Quaker school, where a dedicated French teacher helped him learn English.

“The importance of education was instilled in me at a very early age, and I’ve taken that very seriously,” Lohier said. “I was a philosophy major and learned so much from my professors. Today, even as a judge, they say, ‘call me by my first name,’ and I’m unable to do that. I call them professor because I view that as the highest calling.” 

Lohier was unanimously confirmed to the federal bench in 2010. Prior to his appointment, he served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York.

Learn about African American judges in the federal Judiciary and other African American History Month resources. 

Related Topics: Judicial History

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