Ava Benach is an immigration lawyer in D.C. who was called by a prominent restaurant group to represent one of their workers, she tells DCist. She says she is not allowed to name the restaurant group or the man who was arrested, who worked for 15 years as a chef at a D.C. restaurant owned by the group. “Assuming my client’s information is correct, and I don’t have any reason to doubt this … ICE officers were just sort of roaming the hall of a potentially target-rich environment,” she says.
“The U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act specifically states that any person who is physically present or who ‘arrives’ in the United States, ‘whether or not at a designated port of arrival and . . . irrespective of such [person’s] status, may apply for asylum,’” said Dree Collopy, a partner at Benach Collopy, in an interview. “The Trump administration has ignored the plain text of the statute and blocked access to the U.S. asylum system through a series of policies that essentially eliminate asylum as an option at our southern border, in violation of U.S. international and domestic legal obligations.”
In this weeks episode of Speaking of Justice, Attorney Dree K. Collopy, author of AILA's Aslylum Primer, A practical Guide to US Asylum Law and Procedure, joins Mark Wahlstrom to discuss current events in immigration law, Asylum law practice and a summary of this definitive guide to Asylum Law Practice.
The asylum restrictions recently greenlighted by the U.S. Supreme Court have left legal service providers at the U.S.-Mexico border scrambling to contest denials of asylum that are occurring in fast-tracked immigration
"Filing an H-1B is not that complicated, but pretty much every filing for H-1Bs have gotten requests for additional material. Sixty-eight percent of H-1B filings have been flagged for additional filings, sometimes for federal court." - Sarah Pitney
“With this policy, the Trump administration is purposefully keeping Central Americans in unsafe conditions without access to counsel and evidence in an effort to send them straight back to the hands of their persecutors.”
- Dree Collopy
“This bill will bring an end to asylum for all minors from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala arriving at the U.S. border. This historic change in asylum law would categorically block tens of thousands of children from ever applying for asylum.” - Dree Collopy
"President Trump tried to claim Tuesday night that shutting down the federal government over his demand for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border is a compassionate action — that he is taking a stand on behalf of the American public and even immigrants in response to what he called a “humanitarian and security crisis.” Trump was right about one thing: What’s happening on the southern border is a crisis. But it is his choices that have created it, and his wall would not solve anything." -- Dree Collopy
Although her focus is on helping clients prevent deportation altogether, Benach said she now spends time instructing families on how to fill out the standby guardianship forms. “It’s responsive to a great need in the immigrant community here,” Benach said. “It gives people a little peace of mind.” -- Ava Benach
“If I were to walk into court asking for a final decision before the the shutdown even happened, I would have to wait until 2021,” Ava Benach, an immigration attorney at Benach Collopy told ThinkProgress in an interview. “I have a client who was supposed to have a hearing on January 3 where we were going to resolve a number of issues and create a plan going forward, and now who knows when that will happen?”
Ava Benach, an immigration attorney from Washington, said those denial rates simply prove that asylum rules haven’t adjusted to modern realities. She said victims of domestic abuse and gang violence should absolutely qualify for asylum because Central American governments cannot help them, either because they are unable or unwilling to confront the husbands and gangs that carry out those crimes.
"President Trump’s recent action to limit asylum claims at the U.S.-Mexico border is just his latest attempt to scare Americans about asylum seekers, undercutting long-standing principles of decency and humanity. And like most of what Trump says about immigrants, the rationale the administration is using to keep out asylum seekers is based on myths and deliberate obfuscations." -- Dree Collopy