Dree Collopy on Central American Refugees and Asylum Law

Writing in today’s Leadership Blog from the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Dree Collopy explains the fundamentals of asylum law the critics, journalists, and politicians fail to understand: Any refusal to recognize gender-motivated violence such as rape and domestic violence as persecution worthy of protection under the Immigration and Nationality Act and the U.N. Convention and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees reflects a complete lack of understanding of women’s relationship to the state and their own governments’ failure to provide adequate protection. 

BR Has Another New Lawyer!

BR Has Another New Lawyer! We are thrilled to welcome and announce the newest addition to our BR family, Elanie Cintron. Elanie has joined us in DC as an associate attorney from North Carolina by way of Brooklyn, New York (where she received countless awards and honors as a law student at Hofstra University, including the prestigious Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Fellowship) and Denver, Colorado (where she immediately set herself apart as a rising star in the immigration field as an associate attorney with powerhouse firm Lichter Immigration).

BR “Stars” at American Immigration Lawyers Association Conference

BR "Stars" at American Immigration Lawyers Association Conference The Benach Collopy crew just returned from the annual conference of the American Immigration Lawyers Association in Boston, Massachusetts.  The annual meeting is the largest gathering of immigration lawyers and provides an opportunity for lawyers to learn from each other and improve their services to their clients.  This year, Benach Collopy attorneys Dree Collopy and Benach, served on the conference faculty.  On Friday, Dree spoke on a panel that encouraged lawyers to think about issues in removal proceedings that go beyond the availability of relief entitled “Challenges and Strategies Beyond Relief.”  On Saturday morning, served as a “Star” on the “Litigating with the Stars” panel, which challenged lawyers in the audience to think through common (and uncommon) scenarios and share their strategy. 

More on Asylum Litigation and the Meaning of Particular Social Group

More on Asylum Litigation and the Meaning of Particular Social Group Last week, we told you about two cases that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit heard oral arguments on.  As we discussed, these cases will go a long way towards setting the law on what constitutes a particular social group for purposes of asylum. One of these cases, Martinez, dealt with the issue of whether a former gang member can be granted protection in the U.S.

Things are about to get really interesting

Things are about to get really interesting As Washington, DC has seemed to jump from winter to summer, the politics of immigration reform are heating up.  For the rest of this week, the Capital will be inundated with activists, lawyers, politicians and celebrities all advocating for immigration reform.  Among all this activity, the Senate “Gang of Eight” is prepared to release their proposed bill.  Rumored to be nearly 1500 pages, the Gang of Eight will provide the meat on the bone that all of us have been waiting to chew on. 

Why Dreamers Need Lawyers

Full disclosure, I’m a Dreamer. I’m also a full-time third-year law student. I work at an immigration law firm in Metropolitan Washington D.C. and I love my job. Like many immigrants in the United States, my family and I were screwed over by immigration lawyers and school administrators, which left me without legal status in the United States. As such, I have an inherent dislike of immigration lawyers as there are many bad ones in the profession.