Our client of the month for June 2016 is Julia Marquez. Ms. Marquez fled her native Venezuela with her son after suffering systematic and targeted attacks by the Venezuelan government and the government-backed paramilitary groups. Ms. Marquez was targeted in Venezuela because, as a journalist and political activist, she dared to expose the corrupt and discriminatory practices of the Chavez regime and was dedicated to bringing democracy back to Venezuela.
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.
On Saturday, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) rang in Citizenship Day in the most meaningful way: by organizing a series of legal clinics throughout the country to help many aspiring Americans apply for citizenship. Benach Collopy LLP staff – Naya Gonzalez, Patrick Taurel, and I (Lauren!)– pitched in at a clinic in Rockville, Maryland hosted by local immigrant advocacy group, CASA de Maryland.
We have waited just over three months for this day, where we can introduce Adi Nuñez as an attorney at Benach Collopy! Although Adi has been with us since September, Adi was sworn in as a member of the bar of the State of Maryland today and now has all the rights, privileges and obligations of being a licensed attorney. We welcome Adi into this profession that we love and know that Adi will use her powers to benefit our clients, their families and communities for years to come.
Great news right out of our own backyard. Montgomery County, Maryland, the county that surrounds most of Northwest Washington DC and the most populous county in Maryland, announced today that its jails would no longer honor detainers issued by Immigration & Customs Enforcement except under very specific circumstances. This decision places a vice grip on one of the region’s most reliable ICE enforcement pipelines and is further evidence that local municipalities are rejecting the damage done to communities by the heavy-handed enforcement activities of the current administration.
This blog post was written by FOBR Michelle Mendez, Senior Managing Attorney at Immigrant Legal Service of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington. On April 8, 2014, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley signed into law Chapter 96, which, through a small, technical fix that closes a gap between state and federal law, expands the jurisdiction of an equity court to include custody or guardianship of an immigrant child pursuant to a motion for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) factual findings.