The work of an immigration attorney is not easy. The cases are emotional and often uphill battles. Rules and policies can change by the day. But a win is especially rewarding, and for many, doing what they believe is right is enough motivation to keep doing it.
“My hat is off to every immigration attorney in the state because we work really hard together to protect our clients and fight on their behalf, and it is very hard right now,” said Christine Hernández, shareholder at Hernández & Associates. “But we just keep doing it because we know what we’re doing is right, and we want to help as many people as we can.”
Hernández’s practice is a cross-section of immigration law, involving U-visas, affirmative applications for green cards, asylum applications and, largely, removal defense. In 2019, she received a notable win in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, and in recent years helped lead a national effort in the National Hispanic Bar Association that can help facilitate immigration cases across the country that otherwise might not have a lawyer involved at all.
In the 10th Circuit case, Hernández helped a client who had already gone through the immigration system and had her appeal of an immigration decision denied in 2012. As detailed in the 10th Circuit opinion, Phyllis Mwaura had three U.S. citizen children, and she wanted to stay in the U.S. to stay with them. The Board of Immigration Appeals dismissed an appeal of her removal because she had entered into a fraudulent marriage with a U.S. citizen to seek adjustment of her immigration status. Hernández said she often has cases that involve parents who want to stay in the U.S. for their children, and the cases involve acting as a counselor for the whole family.