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.

I-601A Provisional Waiver Expansion Announced

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. 

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.

My Summer Working on Transgender Asylum Cases at Benach Collopy and Whitman Walker Health

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.

Clients of the Month July 2016- Jorge Martinez and Christopher Gallo

Clients of the Month July 2016- Jorge Martinez and Christopher Gallo 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. 

GUEST BLOG: “More Than a Grade: How our Salvadoran Asylum Client Taught us What it Takes to be an Attorney” by Abdulmajeed Alhogbani, with contributions by Barrett Bles, Recent Graduates of the CUA Columbus School of Law

GUEST BLOG: "More Than a Grade: How our Salvadoran Asylum Client  Taught us What it Takes to be an Attorney" by Abdulmajeed Alhogbani, with contributions by Barrett Bles,  Recent Graduates of the CUA Columbus School of Law “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.

ICE’s New Facility for Trans Detainees Promises More of the Same Abuse

ICE's New Facility for Trans Detainees Promises More of the Same Abuse 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. 

Clients of the Month March 2016- Mekonnen and Hanna Firew

Clients of the Month March 2016- Mekonnen and Hanna Firew 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.  

Como Protegerse si ICE Llega a la Casa

Hay muchas noticias que ICE empezara unos en enero.  Todavia, el gobierno no ha anunciado eso, pero, en el espíritu de empoderamiento y lucha, queremos ofrecer algunos consejos sobre cómo responder sí ICE (la migra) llega a su puerta: NO ABRA LA PUERTA. PREGUNTE QUE LE MUESTREN UNA ORDEN JUDICIAL (“WARRANT”). ICE no puede entrar a su casa sin una orden firmada por un juez. Usted no tiene que abrir la puerta.

How to Protect Yourself in Case of an ICE Raid in Your Home

How to Protect Yourself in Case of an ICE Raid in Your Home Este aviso tambien disponible en español. Happy New Year!  Have an ICE raid! By now, everyone has heard that the Obama administration plans to celebrate the new year by rounding up families and removing them to Central America.  The administration hopes that the images of Central American families coming off of planes in San Salvador and Tegucigalpa will dissuade thousands of Central Americans from fleeing the violence and persecution that threaten their lives on a daily basis.