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.
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.
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.
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.
Franklin Crespo is our Client of the Month for June 2015. BR attorney Dree Collopy has been representing Mr. Crespo and his family since 2009. At that time, Mr. Crespo’s adjustment of status and extreme hardship waiver under section 212(h) of the Immigration and Nationality Act had been denied by the Immigration Judge, his appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals had been dismissed, and Mr. Crespo had been detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Benach Collopy often turns this space over to law students and other friends to discuss their cases. Malissa Tucker and Alexandra Early are law students at the Catholic University Law School, where they are part of the immigration law clinic taught by Dree Collopy and Michelle Mendez. We met our client Muhammad shortly after the fall semester began. We were so nervous to meet this stranger who we knew desperately needed our help that all we could do was scribble down some extra notes about what we wanted to ask him and prepare steaming hot Styrofoam cups of mint tea – our way of saying “we are here to take care of you.” Little did we know, our relationship with Muhammad would come to revolve around these little tokens of kindness and blind faith in each other, eventually blossoming into a life-long friendship.
Yesterday, in a 7-2 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that an immigrant who pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor paraphernalia charge for concealing pills in his sock cannot be deported for the offense. Simply stated, Moones Mellouli faced the possibility of deportation for possession of a sock. Mellouli, who came to the U.S. on a student visa from Tunisia in 2004, graduated with honors from U.S.
Much of the world rejoiced yesterday upon seeing the photos of Caitlyn Jenner’s exquisite transformation on the cover of the June issue of Vanity Fair. Much of the commentary I saw focused not so much on her physical appearance, but how she looked at peace and contented to be herself. As an immigration lawyer who has represented many trans asylum seekers, I know and have seen that look.
Yesterday, several prominent House Democrats called on the administration to end family detention. Organized by Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren of California, the Democrats decried the Obama administration’s detention of women and children fleeing violence in Central America. From the creating of a truncated form of due process in refugee protection to a novel interpretation of bond eligibility to conditions which have caused serious illnesses in the children being jailed by the administration, the entire experience of the gulag archipelago of detention centers was designed not to follow the law and protect asylum-seekers, but as a means of deterrence to other potential refugees.
Our March 2015 client of the month is no stranger to readers of BR’s blog. The Immigration Judge’s grant of D-R-‘s residency in February 2015 ended a saga that began in 2009, when the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service put her and her brother into removal proceedings. Both had entered as young children to live with their adoptive parents away from the violence and poverty of their home country, Guyana.