Our May 2018 clients of the month are Marcelle de Lima and Luciano da Silva. Marcelle and Luciano are from Brazil and they came to the United States after the Brazilian economy started to decline in 2001 and they lost their jobs. When they came to the U.S., neither could speak English and they had to start their lives over from scratch. They were resourceful and determined to build a stable and happy life for themselves and their future children.
This month, we are pleased to honor Angie Salguero as our Client of the Month. Angie, a transgender woman from El Salvador, won her case for asylum last month in front of the immigration judge in Baltimore, MD. Angie’s story of violence and persecution from a very young age included physical abuse by the police and gangs, the loss of family, a dangerous trip to the United States, and stay in immigration detention.
Of all the stupid, dirty, slimy, no-good, treasonous, villainous, putrid, double-crossing treachery, low life, vengeful, mean-spirited, spiteful, nasty, pin-headed, pathetic, weak, ugly, traitorous, short-sighted, weak-kneed, unbecoming, dumb, awful, smelly, vile, cruel, vicious, unjustifiable, illogical, unfriendly, basic, ungrateful, pig-nosed, trashy, small-minded, ham-handed, mercenary, ruinous, bad, fallacious, godawful, crummy, abominable, bad trip, lame, poor, slipshod, cruddy, wicked, corrupt, mean, discouraging, unpleasant, sulfurous, harsh, rotten, scandalous and just plain uncool things that Donald Trump has done, his elimination of DACA, after promising to treat the Dreamers with “great heart,” has to be the worst, the lowest, the meanest, the weakest and the dumbest thing his administration has done.
During these difficult times for our country, when the Trump Administration has suspended the refugee resettlement program and attempted to paint all refugees as terrorists and security threats, Benach Collopy has continued the fight for human rights, including the right to seek asylum and protection from persecution. We are pleased to introduce our Clients of the Month for February 2017, Karla Duran and her six-year-old son Anthony.
Our January 2017 Client of the Month is part of our ongoing series of: “Dreamers that Trump can’t touch!” Danieca Bugarin landed in San Francisco, CA on December 30, 2016, presented her immigrant visa, and was admitted to the U.S. as a permanent resident. Her admission to the U.S. as a permanent resident looked so improbable for the past two years because Danieca was snake-bit when it came to immigration.
On August 5, the 2016 Olympic Games will open in Rio de Janeiro. I love the Olympics because it is a time when we all set aside our day-to-day worries and differences to come together to cheer on the world’s elite athletes as they represent their home countries. But I am particularly interested in watching this year’s Olympic Games because of one specific “country.” This year, 206 countries will participate.
We are thrilled to announce Jorge Martinez and Christopher Gallo as our July 2016 Clients of the Month. Jorge is a permanent resident who just returned from Honduras where he obtained his immigrant visa after being approved for an I-601A provisional waiver for hardship to his U.S. citizen husband, Chris. Jorge returned to Honduras after being gone for more than 20 years and was able to hug his mother again and reunite with his extended family.
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.
It was less than 100 years ago that “No Irish Need Apply” signs were in job windows. Today, the Irish are thoroughly assimilated into the mainstream of American culture and St. Patrick’s day is a great day to remember the contributions of Irish-Americans to the U.S. Anyone who knows me knows that two things I care about immensely are immigration and the U.S. Civil War. When those topics come together, I am in nerd heaven.
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.