Last week, we discussed what might happen early on in a Trump presidency. It was not our goal to sound alarmist, but early indications are that Trump is not backing down on his awful immigration ideas. His elevation of restrictionist Kris Kobach, the architect of so many terrible anti-immigrant laws and initiatives, demonstrates that Trump intends to keep his campaign promises on immigration. Based upon our assessment of what is likely to come, here are some practical tips that you can follow to prepare for the Trump administration, which takes office on January 20, 2017.
I have heard from a lot of people expressing outrage over the fate of Adam Crapser, the Korean adoptee who was ordered deported earlier this week. I get and share the outrage and would like to help channel the outrage into an increased awareness of the many failures this case represents. If you have not seen the adorable photos of Adam as a young boy or holding his infant child, a brief summary.
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.
The proposed expansion of the I-601A provisional waiver of inadmissibility due to unlawful presence has finally become a reality. The President announced the expansion of the waiver as part of his November 2014 suite of executive actions designed to ameliorate the harsh results of strict enforcement of U.S. immigration laws. Of course, the heart of those reforms was deferred action for the parents of U.S. citizens, which remains delayed by an injunction imposed by a Texas judge which the Supreme Court punted on.
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.
This summer, I have had the great privilege of working for Benach Collopy on transgender asylum cases as the Fellow for Trans Asylum. Through a partnership with Whitman-Walker Health Legal Services, I have had the opportunity to work on 11 different asylum cases for transgender women from Central America, Mexico, and Peru. Each of these women were forced to flee their country due to persecution based on their gender identity.
We are thrilled to announce Jorge Martinez and Christopher Gallo as our July 2016 Clients of the Month. Jorge is a permanent resident who just returned from Honduras where he obtained his immigrant visa after being approved for an I-601A provisional waiver for hardship to his U.S. citizen husband, Chris. Jorge returned to Honduras after being gone for more than 20 years and was able to hug his mother again and reunite with his extended family.
“Ok, I’d be willing to stipulate to humanitarian asylum.” We were approximately 30 minutes into the recess the Immigration Judge took, during which we were supposed to negotiate a favorable solution for our client, when DHS said the words we had been waiting to hear since we first met our client in October. We both thought, “Oh my gosh, really???” but when Professor Michelle Mendez leaned over and whispered to our client in Spanish that she was going to get asylum, we knew this was really happening—our client was going to be safe.
Even as the Obama administration takes steps to protect transgender children in schools and provide access to health care for trans people, the President’s illiberal approach to immigration continues to affect trans women in predictable and violent ways. As accolades were heaped on the administration from transgender advocates, the administration announced the creation of a new detention facility designed to hold trans detainees in Alvarado, Texas. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced a 36 bed enclave in the 700 bed facility that will be dedicated to trans detainees and will, in the words of ICE, operate along the most advanced lines of transgender care.
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.