Intern Week! Lily Talks Iowa Politics

Intern Week! Lily Talks Iowa Politics Immigration in Iowa: Countering Dominant Narratives by Lily Hamilton* *Lily Hamilton is an intern at Benach Collopy where she works on asylum issues, LGBT immigration issues, and the fine art of satisfying the Immigration Court Practice Manual.   I stumbled across an article awhile back on the New York Times site that sparked my interest. As a native Iowan, naturally any article from the Times mentioning my home state would give me pause.

Remembering Elias Eljuri: A Client and a Friend

Remembering Elias Eljuri: A Client and a Friend There are moments in life when the true nature of something is revealed in the fog.  Sometimes, an object will only reveal itself slowly as the fog lifts.  Other times the object shines brightly cutting through the fog with its clarity. For example, as the evidence of Russian interference and espionage in the 2016 Presidential election mounts, the true nature of the Russian government is becoming increasing apparent to many in the U.S. 

Whitman Walker Health Presents Ava Benach with Fenner Award for Public Service

Whitman Walker Health Presents Ava Benach with Fenner Award for Public Service   Earlier this month, Ava Benach received the Fenner Award for Public Service from Whitman Walker Health Legal Services.  She got it for doing what she does best– winning cases! The award recognizes the unique relationship that Benach Collopy has formed with Whitman Walker Health.  Whitman Walker Health is the premier health care provider serving the LGBT community in Washington DC.  Since its founding in the early days of the HIV crisis, WWH has expanded its services to provide more holistic assistance to its community. 

Benach Collopy Asylum Summer Fellowship 2017

Benach Collopy Asylum Summer Fellowship 2017 The Benach Collopy Asylum Summer Fellowship 2017 I have been so lucky to get to know so many brave, hard-working, family-oriented, and generous people from all over the globe.  They all shared one thing in common: a willingness to take a chance to come to the U.S. to be the person they knew they were meant to be. -Ava Benach Description of Fellowship Surging violence against transgender and gender nonconforming communities worldwide continue to force a record number of individuals to seek protection at U.S.

Walls, DACA and Raids: What has happened in immigration since Trump’s inauguration?

Walls, DACA and Raids: What has happened in immigration since Trump's inauguration? Back in November, we made some predictions about what might occur in a Trump presidency as it relates to immigration.  Generally, we were very pessimistic and presumed that almost all areas of immigration would become more difficult and challenging for immigrants, families and communities.  This has proven to be true, but not in all of the ways we anticipated.  In some areas, such as refugees and admission policies, the administration has been as bad as expected. 

Remember the St. Louis

Remember the St. Louis Today, on Holocaust Remembrance Day, I am thinking about the M.S. St. Louis.  In 1939, while war waged in Europe, the M.S. St. Louis, a transatlantic ship carrying Jewish refugees fleeing the Third Reich, reached U.S. waters by way of Hamburg and Havana.  Seeking protection from persecution and a safe place to start over with their families, these refugees hoped to be admitted to the United States of America. 

Clients of the Month- October 2016: 5 Child Refugees!

Clients of the Month-  October 2016: 5 Child Refugees! This post was written by Liana Montecinos. Thirsty, hungry, at the brink of exhaustion, and with fear of violent deaths looming large back home is how many Central American children cross into the U.S.  I know this because I have the privilege to work with child refugees in my capacity as paralegal at Benach Collopy and previously as a legal assistant at CAIR Coalition.  But, I also know this because, like the children I work with now, I fled my native Honduras at 11 and I also crossed through Guatemala and Mexico via foot.

Refugee Olympic Team at 2016 Olympic Games

Refugee Olympic Team at 2016 Olympic Games On August 5, the 2016 Olympic Games will open in Rio de Janeiro.  I love the Olympics because it is a time when we all set aside our day-to-day worries and differences to come together to cheer on the world’s elite athletes as they represent their home countries.  But I am particularly interested in watching this year’s Olympic Games because of one specific “country.”  This year, 206 countries will participate. 

Guest Blog Post: CUA Law Students Win Asylum for a Salvadoran Mother Who Fell Victim to Gang Violence

This post is by Tagreed “Tina” Nafisi and Junou Odige, law students at Catholic University. In October, when we met Martha* we could not even begin to fathom the endless hurdles we might have to jump. When one door would close, a window would appear. When something seemed like a dead end, it was really a detour. Throughout this journey of preparing for the individual hearing, two things remained constant though: our client’s faith and our diligence.

Why Should Congress Support the Refugee Protection Act of 2016?

Why Should Congress Support the Refugee Protection Act of 2016? “We live in the age of the refugee, the age of the exile.” Ariel Dorfman (Argentine-Chilean playwright, academic and human rights activist) By Satsita Muradova If someone asked me what was the most difficult decision I have made in my lifetime, I would respond – seeking asylum in the United States. I know from personal experience that no one would leave their country of origin, their home, loved ones (often without a chance of seeing them again) and the life that they were accustomed to unless that place had become a living hell.