Ava Benach is an immigration lawyer in D.C. who was called by a prominent restaurant group to represent one of their workers, she tells DCist. She says she is not allowed to name the restaurant group or the man who was arrested, who worked for 15 years as a chef at a D.C. restaurant owned by the group. “Assuming my client’s information is correct, and I don’t have any reason to doubt this … ICE officers were just sort of roaming the hall of a potentially target-rich environment,” she says.
“The U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act specifically states that any person who is physically present or who ‘arrives’ in the United States, ‘whether or not at a designated port of arrival and . . . irrespective of such [person’s] status, may apply for asylum,’” said Dree Collopy, a partner at Benach Collopy, in an interview. “The Trump administration has ignored the plain text of the statute and blocked access to the U.S. asylum system through a series of policies that essentially eliminate asylum as an option at our southern border, in violation of U.S. international and domestic legal obligations.”
In this weeks episode of Speaking of Justice, Attorney Dree K. Collopy, author of AILA's Aslylum Primer, A practical Guide to US Asylum Law and Procedure, joins Mark Wahlstrom to discuss current events in immigration law, Asylum law practice and a summary of this definitive guide to Asylum Law Practice.
"President Trump tried to claim Tuesday night that shutting down the federal government over his demand for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border is a compassionate action — that he is taking a stand on behalf of the American public and even immigrants in response to what he called a “humanitarian and security crisis.” Trump was right about one thing: What’s happening on the southern border is a crisis. But it is his choices that have created it, and his wall would not solve anything." -- Dree Collopy
Although her focus is on helping clients prevent deportation altogether, Benach said she now spends time instructing families on how to fill out the standby guardianship forms. “It’s responsive to a great need in the immigrant community here,” Benach said. “It gives people a little peace of mind.” -- Ava Benach