Attorney Sarah Pitney It can be so hard to stay positive as an immigration attorney in times like these. Every day, we face new assaults from the president, the attorney general, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Justice. This week, we learned that the attorney general is attempting to circumvent due process by telling immigration judges to reject asylum petitions without a full hearing if, upon initial review, they appear to be fraudulent or unlikely to succeed.
For March 2018, we want to highlight our clients, Yovanny Soto and Heidi Andrade, and their really cute kids. On February 7, 2018, Yovanny was admitted to the U.S. as a permanent resident after living in the U.S. without status for 18 years. Since he was a child, Yovanny has worked while going to school to help his elderly parents provide for his 16 siblings. After his father was murdered in Guatemala, Yovanny fled his home with the hope of safety and a better life.
Of all the stupid, dirty, slimy, no-good, treasonous, villainous, putrid, double-crossing treachery, low life, vengeful, mean-spirited, spiteful, nasty, pin-headed, pathetic, weak, ugly, traitorous, short-sighted, weak-kneed, unbecoming, dumb, awful, smelly, vile, cruel, vicious, unjustifiable, illogical, unfriendly, basic, ungrateful, pig-nosed, trashy, small-minded, ham-handed, mercenary, ruinous, bad, fallacious, godawful, crummy, abominable, bad trip, lame, poor, slipshod, cruddy, wicked, corrupt, mean, discouraging, unpleasant, sulfurous, harsh, rotten, scandalous and just plain uncool things that Donald Trump has done, his elimination of DACA, after promising to treat the Dreamers with “great heart,” has to be the worst, the lowest, the meanest, the weakest and the dumbest thing his administration has done.
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.
I’m Sophie Macklem-Johnson, and I am about to be a senior at Grinnell College (Dree’s alma mater). I am majoring in History and Spanish, and have a concentration in Latin American Studies. I have been speaking Spanish and learning about Latin America since I was started Kindergarten at a Spanish immersion elementary school in Minnesota. I am sure my parents couldn’t have foreseen how much of an impact their decision to send me to this public school rather than the one in our neighborhood would have on my worldview, values, and career aspirations.
Elias E. Eljuri There are moments in life when the true nature of something is revealed in the fog. Sometimes, an object will only reveal itself slowly as the fog lifts. Other times the object shines brightly cutting through the fog with its clarity. For example, as the evidence of Russian interference and espionage in the 2016 Presidential election mounts, the true nature of the Russian government is becoming increasing apparent to many in the U.S.
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.
The shock over the results of Tuesday’s election of Donald Trump has not yet worn off. After two days of triage in hearing from scared clients and friends, we are now forced to confront what will lie ahead for immigration policy in a new administration. Before we go ahead though, it is important to point out a couple of things. First, our take here is speculative- Donald Trump has never voted for anything as a legislator or taken action as a government official.
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.