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. 

Dree Collopy on Central American Refugees and Asylum Law

Writing in today’s Leadership Blog from the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Dree Collopy explains the fundamentals of asylum law the critics, journalists, and politicians fail to understand: Any refusal to recognize gender-motivated violence such as rape and domestic violence as persecution worthy of protection under the Immigration and Nationality Act and the U.N. Convention and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees reflects a complete lack of understanding of women’s relationship to the state and their own governments’ failure to provide adequate protection. 

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. 

Muslim Immigrants to US Were Abused before Trump Started Name-Calling

Muslim Immigrants to US Were Abused before Trump Started Name-Calling Let’s start here: Donald Trump is an abomination.  From his slander of Mexicans as rapists to the violence he incites and tolerates at his rallies to his latest outrages of suggesting a database and a ban on admission of Muslims to the United States, there is no public figure more odious or contemptible than Donald Trump.  And he is a danger.  He incites people to violence, encourages hate and discrimination, and generally contributes to the dumbing down of our culture. 

On Being an Immigration Lawyer in Washington DC

On Being an Immigration Lawyer in Washington DC   We get a lot of questions about what it is like to be an immigration lawyer in Washington DC.  After all, immigration is a federal matter and Congress and the executive branch are just blocks from our office.  In addition to the White House and Capitol Hill, there are the headquarters of the Citizenship & Immigration Service, Immigration & Customs Enforcement, Customs & Border Protection, and the Executive Office for Immigration Review.

Client of the Month for September 2015- Aura Carrera

Client of the Month for September 2015- Aura Carrera 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.

Under Pressure over Family Detention, the Administration Finally Agrees to Exercise a Little Humanity

Under Pressure over Family Detention, the Administration Finally Agrees to Exercise a Little Humanity Since last summer, when the Obama Administration hastily resurrected the concept of family detention to jail refugee women and children seeking asylum, thousands of women and children have languished in inhumane conditions, have been refused meaningful access to counsel and interpreters, have been hurled through bond proceedings with predetermined results, and have been sent directly and expeditiously back to the danger from which they fled – all in violation of U.S.

A Good Week at Benach Collopy

A Good Week at Benach Collopy Last week was one of those weeks that makes us happy to be immigration lawyers.  It ended with several families relieved that their personal journeys to legal status in the U.S. are ended and their lives as U.S. residents have begun.  Here are their stories: YA and EF are a married couple from Bolivia, who have lived in the U.S. for well over a decade.  YA quit working because her son, Joshua, has microcephaly.