This one makes us so happy. Reina Mercado is a catracha (native of Honduras) who arrived to the U.S. undocumented in the early 90s. Following the destruction wrought by Hurricane Mitch in October 1998, the Attorney General designated Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Hondurans on January 5, 1999 and Reina was eligible for it. The government may designate a country for TPS when there is a catastrophic situation in that country, such as war or natural disasters, that makes it inhumane to remove individuals to that country at that time.
This month we are thrilled to recognize Milan Stankovic as our client of the month. After filing his I-589 asylum application and three evidentiary filings, several hours of grueling interviews, numerous status inquiries, and six long years of seeking protection in the United States, Milan has finally been granted asylum. Milan, previously a professional soccer player and small business owner in his home country of Serbia, fled his home in 2011 following years of brutal violence against him.
Ava & Meher, NYC 4/13/17 I have been waiting to write this one for decades. Meher is one of my favorite people and on May 18, 2017, she will take the oath of United States citizenship in her hometown of New York, NY. It was a 16 year journey that Meher and I began in our twenties. We have moved across jobs, law firms, cities, and countries together.
Angela and Omar Totti Ramirez are our clients of the month for April 2017. Omar, a Bolivian citizen, recently received his residence based upon his marriage to Angela, a naturalized U.S. citizen originally from Bolivia. We thought we had seen it all before we handled this case. It started off as a simple marriage-based application for residence, the type we have done thousands of times. Angela had been married before.
During these difficult times for our country, when the Trump Administration has suspended the refugee resettlement program and attempted to paint all refugees as terrorists and security threats, Benach Collopy has continued the fight for human rights, including the right to seek asylum and protection from persecution. We are pleased to introduce our Clients of the Month for February 2017, Karla Duran and her six-year-old son Anthony.
Our December 2016 Client of the Month is another member of the “Dreamers out of Trump’s reach” club. Andres St. Claire and Jazmine St. Claire are clients of the month after Andres was granted residence seven years after marrying Jazmine Andres St. Claire is a Dreamer who got protection under DACA. But before that, he was in love with Jazmine St. Claire, with whom he shared an immigrant experience and a love of video games and dogs.
Danieca Bugarin Our January 2017 Client of the Month is part of our ongoing series of: “Dreamers that Trump can’t touch!” Danieca Bugarin landed in San Francisco, CA on December 30, 2016, presented her immigrant visa, and was admitted to the U.S. as a permanent resident. Her admission to the U.S. as a permanent resident looked so improbable for the past two years because Danieca was snake-bit when it came to immigration.
We are happy to announce Mariana Laredo as our Client of the Month for November 2016. In a week full of dread over the results of the Presidential election, Mariana provided a ray of sunshine. Yesterday, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service formally acknowledged that Mariana was a citizen at birth when she was born in Mexico in 2002 to her Mexican mother, Rosalba and her American father, Gilberto Soto.
Liana Montecinos 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.
Our client of the month for September 2016 is Flora Estrada Amador, a hard-working, kind-hearted woman from Honduras who waited over 20 years to become a permanent resident (“green card” holder) of the United States. Flora first came to the United States in the mid-90s as an A-3 personal employee of a diplomat. She then received Temporary Protected Status (“TPS”) for Hondurans in 1999 and left her position with the diplomatic family.