Our client of the month for March 2016 is Mekonnen Firew. Mekonnen and his wife Hanna are two of the strongest, most resilient people we have ever worked with at Benach Collopy. They fled Ethiopia in fear for their lives after suffering horrific violence at the hands of the Ethiopian government, who wrongfully believed them to be working with the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) because of their Oromo ethnicity.
Our client of the month for February is Rubén García, a native of Spain and brilliant chef, who recently became a U.S. citizen with the help of his attorney Dree Collopy and paralegal Liana Montecinos. After training under Martin Berasategui and other notable mentors in Spain, Rubén is now the right-hand man of Washington, DC’s own José Andrés and a key mastermind behind the Think Food Group’s culinary concepts as its Director of Research and Development.
Our Client of the Month for January 2016 is Monique Kagayigayi. A survivor of the Rwandan genocide whose asylum claim was granted in 2004, Monique just received her green card after more than 10 years of waiting. This is the story of a remarkable woman and the legal efforts that were required to secure her status in the United States. On April 6, 1994, Rwanda’s then-president’s plane was shot down, sparking more than three months of terror and killing throughout Rwanda that today seems unthinkable.
Sometimes our work is in fixing the errors of previous attorneys. That is what happened to Rudi and Alba Reyes, who walked into our offices with removal orders entered by an immigration judge in Baltimore, MD. The immigration judge ordered them removed after their lawyer failed to file an application for a waiver of inadmissibility with the court as requested by the court. The removal order potentially meant that this couple who have lived in the U.S.
For November 2015, we want to honor two good friends of Benach Collopy (FOBR), Allison Rashkin (left) and Jessica Lang (right), who became U.S.citizens this year. Allison came to the U.S. from Montreal, Canada and Jessica from Costa Rica. Both are spinning instructors at Zengo Cycle in Bethesda. Neither of them had hard cases. But they are the kind of cases that thrill us at Benach Collopy.
Our client of the month for October 2015 is Juan Carlos Acajabon Mendez. After receiving an approval of the I-601A provisional waiver, Carlos recently returned from Guatemala, where he received his immigrant visa and entered the U.S. as a permanent resident after more than two decades of living without status in the U.S. Carlos is the most recent BR client to receive an immigrant visa under the I-601A Provisional Waiver program, which permits individuals with approved immigrant relative petitions to seek a waiver of their “inadmissibility” (due to unlawful presence in the U.S.) prior to departing the U.S.
For September 2015, we are proud to present Aura Carrera of Heber City, Utah as our client of the month. Her green card arrived last month and she is heading home to Guatemala for the first time in over twenty years, a resident returning to visit family after nearly a quarter century. Aura’s case was a fight from the beginning. When she came to Ava Benach, Aura had a removal order from an immigration judge in Salt Lake City, Utah and a determination for the U.S.
Franklin Crespo is our Client of the Month for June 2015. BR attorney Dree Collopy has been representing Mr. Crespo and his family since 2009. At that time, Mr. Crespo’s adjustment of status and extreme hardship waiver under section 212(h) of the Immigration and Nationality Act had been denied by the Immigration Judge, his appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals had been dismissed, and Mr. Crespo had been detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Our clients of the month for June 2015 are Oscar Molina and Mirian Campos. Oscar just returned from El Salvador, where he received his immigrant visa and entered the U.S. as a permanent resident after more than a decade of living without status in the U.S. Oscar is the most recent BR client to receive an immigrant visa under the I-601A Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver program which permits individuals with approved immigrant relative petitions to seek a waiver of their “inadmissibility” (due to unlawful presence in the U.S.) prior to departing the U.S.
VM is our Client of the Month for May 2015. VM became a client of Benach Collopy attorneys starting in 2008, when she was detained upon her arrival at the airport from Brazil. Today, after seven years, fights with four immigration agencies, and three immigration applications (asylum, adjustment of status, and naturalization), VM is now a United States citizen. VM fled terrible violence in Brazil because of her gender and sexual identity, and arrived in the United States in search of protection.