Dree K. Collopy is a partner of Benach Ragland LLP.  As an experienced advocate, Dree devotes her practice to defending and representing individuals in removal proceedings, asylum matters, federal court litigation, VAWA and U visa petitions, waivers of inadmissibility, family and employment-based visa petitions, and complex adjustment of status and naturalization applications.  She develops thorough and creative legal strategies, provides impeccable and compassionate client service, and is steadfast in fighting for her clients’ rights.  Dree’s genuine passion and dedication to her work stems from her deep respect and appreciation for those who dare to dream the American dream.

In 2014, Dree was awarded one of the American Immigration Lawyers Association’s highest honors, the Joseph Minsky Young Lawyer Award for her outstanding contributions made in the field of immigration and nationality law.

Dree has authored several articles and frequently lectures on cutting edge immigration issues.  A recognized asylum expert, Dree serves as Chair of the AILA National Asylum and Refugee Liaison Committee and is the author of the forthcoming edition of AILA’s Asylum Primer, the “go-to” manual for practical, interpretive guidance on the entire asylum process.  In her capacity as Chair of the AILA National Asylum and Refugee Liaison Committee, Dree builds relationships and works cooperatively with government officials to maintain the integrity of our immigration system, ensure that our laws are implemented with accuracy and fairness, and secure justice and equality for non-citizens.

Dree is deeply committed to the pro bono representation of indigent clients and securing their access to counsel. She mentors pro bono attorneys, develops case materials and strategies for the representation of detained women and children refugees, and serves on working groups developing nation-wide policy advocacy and litigation strategies on behalf of refugees.  Dree also co-directs the Immigration Litigation Clinic at The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law, where she is a member of the adjunct faculty and supervises law students representing indigent clients in removal proceedings before the U.S. Immigration Courts.

Dree joined Benach Ragland from the litigation practice of Maggio + Kattar, where she was a Senior Attorney.  She earned her J.D. and Certificate in Law and Public Policy at The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law and her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Spanish at Grinnell College.  Dree is fluent in Spanish.

 

Professional Activities

  • American Immigration Lawyers Association
    • Chair, AILA National Asylum and Refugee Liaison Committee, 2012 – Present
    • Member, AILA National Annual Conference Committee, 2013 – Present
    • Member, AILA National Media Advocacy Committee, 2014 – Present
    • Fourth Circuit Representative, AILA Federal Court Litigation Section, 2012 – 2014
    • Member, AILA National Distance Learning Committee, 2012 – 2013
    • Member, AILA National Board of Publications Committee, 2011 – 2012
    • Co-Chair, AILA-DC Chapter Pro Bono Committee, 2009 – 2013
  • American Bar Association
    • Section of Litigation, Co-Chair, Immigration Litigation Subcommittee, 2011 – 2013
  • National Lawyers Guild, National Immigration Project
  • Bar of the District of Columbia
  • Maryland State Bar Association

Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland

Education

  • The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law, J.D. and Certificate in Law and Public Policy, 2007
    • Dulin-Haynes Fellowship awarded for exceptional public service and academic excellence
    • Note and Comment Editor, Catholic University Law Review
    • President, Students for Public Interest Law
    • Student Coordinator, Law and Public Policy Program
  • Grinnell College, B.A. in Political Science and Spanish, 2004

Experience

  • Benach Ragland LLP
    • Partner, 2012 – Present
  • The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law
    • Lecturer and Co-Director of the Immigration Litigation Clinic, 2013 – Present
    • Lecturer in the Law and Public Policy Program, 2012 – 2013
  • Maggio + Kattar, PC
    • Senior Attorney, Attorney, and Law Clerk, 2006 – 2012
  • Internships
    • Ayuda Inc., Summer 2006
    • U.S. Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review, Headquarters Immigration Court, 2005 – 2006
    • U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Division, Office of Immigration Litigation, Summer 2005
    • The Honorable Tom Harkin, United States Senate, Summer 2005

Civic and Charitable Activities

  • American Immigration Lawyers Association Pro Bono Project, Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (detention center for women and children refugees), Artesia, NM
  • Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington, Immigrant Legal Services, Pro Bono Mentor
  • Board of Immigration Appeals Pro Bono Project
  • Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition
  • Maryland Immigrant Rights Coalition

Honors and Awards

  • Joseph Minsky Young Lawyer Award for outstanding contributions made in the field of immigration and nationality law, presented by the American Immigration Lawyers Association, 2014
  • President’s Commendation Award for work in advancing and defending the cause of refugees, presented by the American Immigration Lawyers Association, 2013
  • Named one of Washington’s top immigration lawyers by the Washingtonian Magazine, Super Lawyers – Rising Stars, 2013 – 2015

Selected Publications

Books

  • Author, AILA’s Asylum Primer, 7th Edition (forthcoming).

Book Chapters

  • Author, “An Introduction to Asylum Law and Procedure,” What Every Lawyer Needs to Know About Immigration Law, American Bar Association, 2014.
  • Author, “Gatekeeping the American Dream: The Importance of the Naturalization Interview to Achieving Citizenship and Full Integration into American Life,” AILA’s Guide to U.S. Citizenship & Naturalization Law, 2014.

Articles

  • Co-Author, “Particular Social Group Claims,” AILA-DC Fall Conference Materials, October 2014.
  • Co-Author, “Challenges and Strategies Beyond Relief,” AILA’s Immigration Practice Pointers, 2014 – 2015 Edition.
  • Author, “Thwarting the Intent Behind VAWA? USCIS’ Interpretation of Good Moral Character,” West’s Immigration Briefings, April 2014.
  • Co-Author, “Evidentiary Issues in Asylum Cases,” AILA’s Immigration Practice Pointers, 2013 – 2014 Edition.
  • Author, “I-601A Provisional Unlawful Presence Waivers: A Practitioner’s Guide for Preserving Family Unity,” West’s Immigration Briefings, June 2013.
  • Author, “No Minor Issue: The Diminished Capacity of Minors in Our Immigration System,” West’s Immigration Briefings, April 2012.
  • Author, “Definition of Conviction,” Interpreter Releases, Vol. 88, No. 4, pp. 294-295 (Jan. 24, 2011).
  • Author, “The Plight of the Crewman: The Need for an Immediate Relative Exception to the Prohibition on Adjustment of Status and Strategies for Representing Alleged Crewmen Under Current Law,” West’s Immigration Briefings, June 2010.
  • Author, “Lost in Translation: Why Professional Interpreters are Critical to the Fairness of Asylum Interviews,” AILA’s Immigration Law Today, May/June 2008.
  • Author, “Incorporating a Hardship Factor in Asylum Claims Based on Female Genital Mutilation: A Legislative Solution to Protect the Best Interests of Children,” Georgetown Immigration Law Journal, Spring 2007.

Practice Pointers

  • Co-Author, “Practice Pointer: Avoid the NOID! How to Prevent Asylum Office NOIDs,” American Immigration Lawyers Association, September 4, 2014.
  • Co-Author, “Practice Pointer: Completing the I-589, Question-By-Question Guidance on Completing the Form I-589 Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal,” American Immigration Lawyers Association, July 14, 2014.
  • Co-Author, “Practice Pointer: Challenging the Admission of Asylum Officers’ Notes and Assessments as Evidence in Immigration Court,” American Immigration Lawyers Association, July 24, 2013.

Op-Eds

  • Co-Author, “Why is Obama still locking up so many innocent women and kids on US soil?”, The Guardian, November 4, 2014.

Blog Posts

  • Author, “The Failings of Family Detention at Artesia,” American Immigration Council, Immigration Impact, October 2, 2014.
  • Author, “Video Journal from Artesia,” Lifted Lamp, September 14, 2014.
  • Author, “Journey to Artesia,” Lifted Lamp, September 7, 2014.
  • Author, “America’s Leaders Are Failing the Children,” AILA Leadership Blog, July 21, 2014.
  • Author, “Fireworks: A Beacon in the Sky for the World,” AILA Leadership Blog, July 3, 2014.
  • Author, “Getting a Little Serious About the Need for Immigration Reform,” AILA Leadership Blog, June 26, 2014.
  • Author, “The Revised Credible Fear Lesson Plan: Enough is Enough!”, AILA Leadership Blog, April 25, 2014.
  • Author, “Administrative Relief for Military Families via Parole in Place,” Lifted Lamp, November 19, 2013.
  • Author, “What is Extreme Hardship?”, Lifted Lamp, January 28, 2013.
  • Author, “Fighting for Togetherness,” Lifted Lamp, December 22, 2012.
  • Author, “The Assembly Line Approach to the Immigration Courts,” Lifted Lamp, August 9, 2012.

Edited Works and Book Contributions

  • Editor, “Immigration Consequences of Criminal Convictions: A Primer on What Crimes Can Get Your Client into Trouble,” “Family-Sponsored Immigration,” and “One-Step Marriage Walk Through,” Navigating the Fundamentals of Immigration Law, 2013 – 2014 Edition.
  • Contributor, AILA’s Litigation Toolbox (Third and Fourth Editions), American Immigration Lawyers Association.
  • Contributor, AILA’s Immigration Practice Toolbox (Fourth Edition), American Immigration Lawyers Association.
  • Editor, Litigating Immigration Cases in Federal Court (Third Edition) by Robert Pauw, American Immigration Lawyers Association.
  • Expert Reviewer, “Assembly Line Injustice,” Appleseed Report 2012.

Selected Speaking Engagements

  • Discussion Leader, “How to Win Gang-Based Asylum Claims,” American Immigration Lawyers Annual Conference, Washington, DC, June 19, 2015 (forthcoming).
  • Panelist, “Crisis at the Border: Immigration Law and Policy,” The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law, October 27, 2014.
  • Panelist, “Winning Asylum Claims Based on Particular Social Group,” AILA-DC Fall Conference, October 22, 2014.
  • Panelist, “Credible/Reasonable Fear Interviews: Lessons from Artesia and Karnes,” AILA Colorado Rocky Mountain Immigration Law Conference, October 17, 2014.
  • Panelist, “Lessons from Artesia,” AILA-DC Webinar, October 6, 2014.
  • Panelist, Press Briefing on Domestic Violence-Based Asylum Claims and Family Detention, September 23, 2014.
  • Panelist, “Family Detention: Denying Protection to Refugees,” U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate Briefings on Capitol Hill, September 22, 2014.
  • Faculty, “U.S. Asylum Law: A Primer,” Institute for U.S. Law, Washington, DC, August 8, 2014.
  • Faculty, “Seeking Protection for Individuals Fleeing Gang Violence: The Evolution of Gang-Based Asylum and Practice Pointers for Success,” Elon University School of Law’s Humanitarian Immigration Law Clinic, Greensboro, NC, August 1, 2014.
  • Discussion Leader, “Challenges and Strategies Beyond Relief,” American Immigration Lawyers Association Annual Conference, Boston, MA, June 20, 2014.
  • Panelist, “Best Practices in Challenging Detention and Advocating for Asylum, Withholding, and CAT Relief,” ILW.com Webinar, March 27, 2014.
  • Panelist, “I-601A Waivers: A Year in Review,” AILA-DC New Members Division Webinar, March 14, 2014.
  • Panelist, “Asylum Officer Notes and Assessments,” AILA-DC Litigation Roundtable, February 24, 2014.
  • Discussion Leader, “Asylum and Removal Case Preparation and Practicum,” American Immigration Lawyers Association Paralegals Conference, Washington, DC, October 25, 2013.
  • Panelist, “Women as Leaders: Negotiating Skills for Success,” The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law, September 19, 2013.
  • Discussion Leader, “Recent Updates in Comprehensive Immigration Reform,” American Bar Association Lunch and Learn Series, July 29, 2013.
  • Discussion Leader, “Evidentiary Issues in Asylum Cases,” American Immigration Lawyers Association Annual Conference, San Francisco, CA, June 29, 2013.
  • Discussion Leader, “Representing Clients with Mental Health Issues: A Primer on EOIR’s New Mental Health Rules,” American Bar Association Lunch and Learn Series, April 18, 2013.
  • Speaker, “Representing Immigrant Children,” AILA-DC Chapter and Child Immigrants DC Collaborative training, March 19, 2013.
  • Discussion Leader, “2012 Election Results: Consequences for Employment and Family-Based Immigration,” American Bar Association Lunch and Learn Series, December 18, 2012.
  • Discussion Leader, “When the Petitioner Becomes the Target: Strategies for Presenting Petitions Impacted by the Adam Walsh Act,” American Immigration Lawyers Association Web Seminar, November 13, 2012.
  • Panelist, “Practical ‘Nuts and Bolts’ Tips – Criminal Issues,” Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Nuts and Bolts Seminar, Federal Bar Association, October 31, 2012.
  • Panelist, “ABA Pro Bono Training: The Essentials of Immigration Court Representation, Appeals to the BIA and Circuit Courts,” American Bar Association Annual Conference, Chicago, IL, August 1, 2012.
  • Discussion Leader, “Deferred Action for Dreamers,” American Bar Association Lunch and Learn Series, July 25, 2012.
  • Panelist, “ABA Pro Bono Training: The Essentials of Immigration Court Representation, Appeals to the BIA and Circuit Courts,” American Bar Association Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA, February 1, 2012.
  • Panelist, “ABA Pro Bono Training: The Essentials of Immigration Court Representation, Introduction to Immigration Court Proceedings,” American Bar Association Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA, February 1, 2012.
  • Panelist, “Prosecutorial Discretion in Immigration Law,” Law and Public Policy Forum, The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law, January 30, 2012.
  • Discussion Leader, “The Plight of the Crewman: Strategies for Representing C-1/D Entrants Under Current Law,” American Immigration Lawyers Association Web Seminar, November 22, 2011.
  • Faculty, “VAWA/U Visa Pro Bono Training,” Maggio + Kattar and Catholic Charities Immigration Legal Services, November 15, 2011.
  • Faculty, “Trying a Case in Immigration Court: Advice from the Bench and Bar,” District of Columbia Bar Continuing Legal Education, August 23, 2011.
  • Speaker, “The Varying Definition of Conviction,” American Bar Association Lunch and Learn Series, March 24, 2011.
  • Faculty, “Pro Bono Model Hearing Program: Skills for Representing Respondents in Immigration Court,” AILA-DC Chapter, Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland, and Catholic Charities, February 5, 2010.
  • Faculty, “Declaratory Judgments for Business and Family Practitioners,” American Immigration Lawyers Association Teleconference, August 4, 2009.
  • Faculty, “Immigration Implications of Criminal Convictions,” District of Columbia Bar Continuing Legal Education, May 12, 2009.

Representative Matters

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit:

  • Crespo v. Holder, 631 F.3d 130 (4th Cir. 2011) – After briefing and oral argument before the Fourth Circuit, the Court held that a deferred adjudication under Virginia Code section 18.2-251 in which a plea of not guilty is entered with a judicial finding of facts “justifying a finding of guilt” is not a conviction for immigration purposes.  The Court remanded the case to allow the client to apply for a waiver of inadmissibility under section 212(h) of the Immigration and Nationality Act and adjustment of status based on the approved I-130 petition filed on his behalf by his U.S. citizen spouse.

U.S. District Courts:

  • Necochea v. Caterisano, et al, No. BEL-09-0400 (D. Md. Feb. 19, 2009) – 1447(b) petition for hearing on naturalization application challenging USCIS’s lengthy delay in adjudicating the Peruvian client’s application for U.S. citizenship.  The case was successfully resolved for the client, a prominent doctor with Johns Hopkins University, when USCIS granted his long-delayed U.S. citizenship.
  • Children’s Physician Services of South Texas v. Poulos, et al., No. CV09 – 9246 JFW (RCx) (C.D. Cal. Dec. 17, 2009) – Complaint for writ of mandamus and declaratory relief challenging USCIS’s unreasonable delay in adjudicating the H-1B petition filed by a non-profit children’s hospital on behalf of a Jordanian doctor who was providing essential medical care to children residing in an underserved area of Texas.  The case was successfully resolved for the client when USCIS granted its long-delayed H-1B petition.
  • Yanow v. Arellano, et al., 2:08-cv-08104-RGK-PJW (C.D. Cal. Dec. 9, 2008) – 1447(b) petition for hearing on naturalization application challenging USCIS’s lengthy delay in adjudicating the Canadian client’s application for U.S. citizenship.  The case was successfully resolved for the client when the District Court remanded the case to USCIS to re-interview the client, ordering USCIS to issue a decision within 90 days.  After re-interview and submission of additional legal arguments to USCIS, the client was granted his long-delayed U.S. citizenship.
  • Poliakova v. Gonzales, et al., No. 08-cv-20143 (S.D. Fla. May 5, 2008), appeal filed, No. 08-13313 (11th Cir.) (with Thomas Ragland) – Mandamus action challenging USCIS’s unreasonable delay in adjudicating the Russian client’s I-485 application to adjust status to permanent residence.  The case was successfully resolved for the client while it was pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit when USCIS granted the client’s long-delayed I-485 application and issued her green card.

Board of Immigration Appeals and U.S. Immigration Courts:

  • Fought for the due process rights of a mother and her four-year-old son from Guatemala who were detained in Artesia, NM, and obtained asylum for them based on the horrific violence and threats against their lives that they had suffered in Guatemala at the hands of the M-18 gang.
  • Prevented the deportation of an 84-year-old Iranian woman who had been placed in removal proceedings for shoplifting by presenting successful applications for a waiver of inadmissibility and adjustment of status based on an approved widow self-petition. She had been in removal proceedings without resolution for 11 years.
  • Successfully appealed the revocation of an approved I-130 petition filed by a U.S. citizen daughter on behalf of her mother from The Gambia, and obtained permanent resident status for the mother. The approved I-130 petition had been revoked under false allegations that the mother had previously been in a fraudulent marriage to seek immigration benefits.
  • Secured withholding of removal for a young political activist from Burma who had suffered arrest, detention, and torture in Burma at the hands of the government because of his political activities and support of human rights.
  • Secured asylum for a woman from Zimbabwe based on her well-founded fear of persecution on account of her political opinion.  Successfully argued that she fell within the exceptions to the one year filing deadline even though she had been in the U.S. for over 20 years.
  • Prevented the deportation of a Mexican man by presenting successful applications for adjustment of status under INA section 245(i) and cancellation of removal for non-permanent residents and convincing the judge that his U.S. citizen son, who suffered from autism, and his Lawful Permanent Resident wife would suffer exceptional and extremely unusual hardship if he is removed from the United States.
  • Filed a successful Motion to Reopen before the Board of Immigration Appeals for an Ethiopian political activist based on her prima facie eligibility for asylum, previous ineffective assistance of counsel, lack of capacity due to her mental illness, and the hardship that her young U.S. citizen son would suffer without his mother in the United States.
  • Secured waiver of inadmissibility for fraud and permanent resident status for a Cambodian woman based on the extreme hardship that her U.S. citizen husband would suffer and dangers the couple would face in Cambodia if she were deported.
  • Convinced the Board of Immigration Appeals that the marriage between a woman from Sierra Leone and her U.S. citizen husband was bona fide and not fraudulent, as U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services had alleged, and secured permanent resident status for her and her daughter.
  • Prevented the deportation of an Indian couple by obtaining cancellation of removal for non-permanent residents based on the exceptional and extremely unusual hardship that their United States citizen children would suffer upon the couple’s deportation.
  • Filed successful Motion to Reopen based on ineffective assistance of prior counsel, which resulted in the reopening of an Ethiopian man’s asylum application, a de novo hearing before the Immigration Court, and grant of asylum and protection from the persecution and torture he had faced in Ethiopia due to the political opinions imputed to him by the Ethiopian government.
  • Successfully argued on appeal at the Board of Immigration Appeals that the Immigration Judge erred in excluding the bulk of a Togolese client’s evidence of political persecution in Togo and making an adverse credibility determination based on one date discrepancy.  The case was remanded to the Immigration Court.
  • Successfully argued that despite a Filipino man’s entry on a C-1 visa, he was not a crewman as defined under the Immigration and Nationality Act, and therefore, was eligible to adjust status based on his marriage to a U.S. citizen.  The Immigration Court granted him permanent residence.
  • Obtained a Brazilian woman’s release from detention, represented her at her Credible Fear Interview, and ultimately obtained asylum and permanent residence for her based on the violent abuse she suffered at the hands of her partner in Brazil on account of her sexual orientation.
  • Convinced Immigration Judge to order a Salvadoran client’s release from immigration detention on bond so that he could apply for asylum before the Immigration Court based on the gang violence he faced and feared returning to in El Salvador.
  • Obtained permanent resident status in Immigration Court for a Pakistani journalist based on his marriage to a U.S. citizen, after he had been detained and placed in removal proceedings for overstaying his visa.
  • Convinced the Immigration Court to administratively close the removal proceedings of a Cambodian woman whose lawful permanent resident husband was petitioning on her behalf for permanent resident status.
  • Obtained permanent resident status in Immigration Court for a Salvadoran man based on his employment-based petition and adjustment of status application under section 245(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
  • Obtained withholding of removal for a Pakistani woman who had been targeted and abused by her husband and his family in the United States because of her religious conversion to Christianity.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services:

  • Obtained asylum for a Colombian woman (and her young daughter), who had fled Colombia after suffering years of domestic violence, including physical, sexual, and psychological abuse, at the hands of her ex-husband.
  • Obtained a waiver of the J-1 two-year home residence requirement for a Swedish Fulbright Scholar whose first waiver application had been denied by USCIS despite a no objection statement from the Swedish government.
  • Obtained an approved I-360 self-petition under the Violence Against Woman Act (“VAWA”) and permanent resident status for a Yemeni woman who had suffered years of domestic violence at the hands of her U.S. citizen husband.
  • Obtained asylum for a Chinese man who practiced Falun Gong and suffered severe consequences at the hands of the Chinese government, including being fired from his job as a professor, arrested, detained, interrogated, beaten, and tortured.
  • Successfully appealed the denial of a marriage-based adjustment of status application and I-601 fraud waiver of inadmissibility to the Administrative Appeals Office, and obtained permanent residence for a Ghanaian man who had entered at age 15 on a photo-switched passport.
  • Obtained asylum for a Zimbabwean woman who had been targeted by Mugabe’s security forces and ZANU-PF because of her perceived political opposition as a woman who had studied in the United States and been outspoken about her beliefs in opposition to Mugabe’s policies.
  • Obtained Parole in Place for a Guatemalan woman whose husband served in the U.S. military as a member of the U.S. Coast Guard so she could adjust status to permanent residence without leaving the United States, which would have triggered a bar to her re-entry due to her previous unlawful presence.
  • Obtained asylum anew for a Rwandan woman whose derivative asylum status had been terminated due to the termination of her husband, the principal applicant’s asylum status. The couple had previously been granted asylum after fleeing the Rwandan genocide, but her husband’s asylum status was terminated because of his criminal activity. That caused his wife’s status also to be terminated.
  • Obtained permanent residence for a couple from India based on the husband’s status as an outstanding researcher in the field of labor economics.
  • Obtained asylum for an Iranian artist whose values and belief in women’s rights, which she openly expressed through her artwork, were considered contrary to the Iranian government’s politics and religion and inciting of dissent.
  • Obtained permanent residence for a Hindustani classical vocalist from Bangladesh based on her extraordinary ability and work in the national interest of the United States.
  • Obtained permanent residence and an I-601 waiver of inadmissibility for a Mexican man who had prior unlawful presence in the United States and who had made misrepresentations on prior visa applications.  Successfully argued that his U.S. citizen spouse would suffer extreme hardship if he were not able to remain in the U.S. with her and their two young U.S. citizen children.
  • Filed successful motions to reopen and reconsider and convinced USCIS to reinstate for humanitarian reasons the revoked family-based immigrant visa petitions of three Jamaican siblings whose mother, the petitioner, had passed away prior to the issuance of their visas by the U.S. consulate abroad.
  • Obtained asylum for a family of four from Venezuela who had been targeted, threatened, subjected to attempted kidnappings, and beaten by the Chavez regime due to their political opinions and activism in Venezuela.
  • Successfully appealed the denial of a marriage-based adjustment of status application and I-601 waiver of inadmissibility, and obtained permanent residence for a Ghanaian woman with special-needs children.
  • Obtained Temporary Protected Status and a U visa for a Salvadoran man who was the victim of an armed robbery and who assisted law enforcement in investigating the crime.
  • Successfully argued that a Canadian businessman was an individual of good moral character for purposes of naturalization, despite his conviction for mailing prohibited items and his corporation’s related convictions.  Convinced USCIS that the corporation’s convictions should not be imputed to the applicant in determining whether he was an individual of good moral character, and he was granted U.S. citizenship.
  • Convinced USCIS to reopen asylum application and obtained asylum for a secular Iranian with Western political beliefs and values after his two previous applications had been erroneously denied due to the one year filing deadline.
  • Successfully challenged an allegation of fraud against a Peruvian man due to his prior use of a photo-switched passport, as a minor under the age of 18, to enter the United States.  Obtained permanent residence for the client without need for a waiver of inadmissibility so he could remain with his U.S. citizen wife.
  • Obtained permanent resident status for a Kenyan woman based on her marriage to a U.S. citizen after multiple adjustment of status interviews and unfounded challenges to the validity of the couple’s marriage by USCIS.
  • Obtained P visas for various African hip-hop artists to enter the United States and perform on tour.
  • Obtained removal of conditions on residence and waiver of the joint filing requirement for a Czech woman whose marriage to the U.S. citizen petitioner had dissolved after she received permanent residence based on their marriage.
  • Successfully reopened the denial of a Pakistani man’s marriage-based adjustment of status application under section 245(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, and obtained permanent residence for the client, whose brother had previously filed a petition on his behalf.
  • Obtained asylum for an Iranian journalist and his wife who had been targeted, arrested, detained, and tortured for his political opinions and association with Western media in exposing the truth and fighting the censorship of the Ahmadinejad regime.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement:

  • Convinced Immigration and Customs Enforcement to release client from detention, and obtained a stay of removal for a Salvadoran woman who had been ordered removed by an Immigration Judge in the past so that she could petition for a U visa based on the years of severe domestic abuse she had suffered.  The U visa was granted and her prior removal proceedings were reopened and terminated. She is now a lawful permanent resident of the United States.
  • Convinced Office of Chief Counsel to join in a motion to reopen and terminate proceedings for Turkish scientists who had left the United States during their removal proceedings to pursue their research abroad.  Reopening and terminating their proceedings enabled them to re-enter the United States without waivers of inadmissibility.
  • Obtained a stay of removal for a schizophrenic Ethiopian woman so that she could file a motion to reopen her case before the Immigration Court based on her diminished capacity and prior ineffective assistance of counsel to apply for asylum based on her political beliefs and mental health condition.
  • Convinced the Office of Chief Counsel to join in motion to reopen a Georgian man’s removal proceedings based on lack of notice of his prior proceedings and his marriage to a U.S. citizen so he could apply for adjustment of status based on his U.S. citizen spouse’s petition on his behalf (with Thomas Ragland).

U.S. Customs and Border Protection:

  • Convinced CBP officers to correct numerous clients’ I-94 cards, which had been issued with incorrect immigration status, dates and duration of admission, and names.
  • Represented Indian IT worker at deferred inspection and convinced CBP to admit him to the United States based on his valid H-1B visa.

U.S. Consulates:

  • Convinced U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and the U.S. consulate in Montreal, Canada that a Canadian woman with prior immigration fraud, unlawful presence in the United States, and a previous removal order should be re-admitted to the United States as a lawful permanent resident based on her marriage to a United States citizen and the extreme hardship that he was suffering without her in the United States.
  • Obtained an I-601 extreme hardship waiver for a Bangladeshi woman who had been found to make a material misrepresentation on a prior immigration application by demonstrating that her U.S. citizen husband was suffering extreme hardship without her in the United States.  Assisted with her application for an Immigrant Visa at the consulate in Dhaka, Bangladesh and with her entry to the United States as a lawful permanent resident.
  • Convinced U.S. consulate in Singapore to reverse its finding of a woman’s inadmissibility based on unlawful presence in the United States, so she may return to the United States without a waiver of inadmissibility.