BN was born in Manhattan, New York while her parents were serving as Diplomats in the U.S. as part of the Angolan Mission to the United Nations. As a result of her parents’ diplomatic status, BN was one of the few people born in the U.S. who do not receive birthright citizenship. Although BN was born and raised in the United States, she was also not eligible for DACA because her parent’s diplomatic status expired after DACA was offered.
Benach Collopy celebrates our first International Women’s Day as an entirely woman-owned law firm. Not only that, Benach Collopy, for the moment, is staffed exclusively by women. On this International Women’s Day, we reflect not only on our mothers and sisters, but also on the many women clients we have helped over the years and today. We remain awed by their strength, their courage and their willingness to risk it all for their children and their families.
We are extremely excited to announce that Benach Ragland LLP is now Benach Collopy LLP as Thomas Ragland departs the firm at the end of January 2016. Partners Ava Benach, Dree Collopy and Jennifer Cook will continue to practice immigration law the only way we know how: strongly committed to achieving the goals of Benach Collopy clients and advancing the rights of immigrant communities. At the same time, we express our most sincere gratitude and affection for Thomas Ragland.
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.
Here I want to re-introduce myself. For seventeen years, I have had the privilege of practicing the best type of law- immigration law. I have been so lucky to get to know so many brave, hard-working, family-oriented, and generous people from all over the globe. They all shared one thing in common: a willingness to take a chance to come to the U.S. to be the person they knew they were meant to be.
This summer we have had to say farewell to one of our original team members. Since Benach Collopy opened doors on April 2, 2012, Sandra Arboleda was here ready with a fresh cup of coffee and a desire to help our clients through the challenges of U.S. immigration law. Sandra is moving on to seek an advanced degree in social work. her passion for helping people, which served us and our clients so well here, demands that she improve her education to put her talent and determination to use in the field of social work.
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.
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.
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.