Missing Tara O’Connor, a Great Immigration Lawyer

by W. John Vandenberg

I miss Tara O’Connor.

We lost a great Immigration Lawyer this year. Tara was one of my first role models as an attorney. I met her when I was a law student, clerking at the Law Office of David E. Piver. Tara was an incredible Immigration Lawyer. Diligent, knowledgeable, and creative, she never hesitated to answer my questions about business immigration. She had an incredible sense of humor, and was an amazing writer. You were a lion in your fight against cancer, Tara, and you are dearly missed.

If you are a friend of Tara’s, or would like to say “thank you” for her help in obtaining immigration status, you can do so by making a donation for the care and education of her two sons. Send a check, payable to the Tara S. O’Connor Donation Account, to:
National Bank By Mail
(Chase)
PO Box 36520
Louisville, KY 40233-6520

Post-script, February 10, 2015

Updates from the Family

An update on the Pennsylvania Service–

DETAILS: Tara’s Memorial & Gathering April 25

10:30am–Memorial Mass at St. Patrick’s in Malvern.
Immediately following, the family will be traveling for a private interment of Tara’s ashes. We will meet everyone at the gathering between 1 and 1:30.

The gathering will be at The Lamb Tavern (AKA The Porch Restaurant at the Lamb) in Springfield. They are prepared to receive our guests immediately following the memorial service, even though the family will be arriving later.

We are so looking forward to our family and friends, and feeling Tara with us on her 43rd birthday.

An update on the “Tara S. O’Connor Donation Account”–
Thank you to all who have contributed to this fund. The financial support is truly making a difference, as Morgan looks to continue to raise his boys in their home in Flagstaff. I had indicated previously that we hoped to get an electronic transfer up-and-running for this account, but unfortunately, the bank is not making it easy–or reasonable!–to do so. So, please use the address below to mail your donations.
Tara S. O’Connor Donation Account
Mail these checks to:
National Bank By Mail
(Chase)
PO Box 36520
Louisville, KY 40233-6520

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Annual conference Highlights and Notes – Wednesday, Day 1

By W. John Vandenberg

Hello, Readers!  This week, Hogan and Vandenberg is at the American Immigration Lawyers Association (“AILA”) Annual Conference in Boston.  We’ll be blogging about the updates we learn while here.

Day 1 was Wednesday.  Since I’m on the AILA Philadelphia Executive Committee, we receive leadership training that includes legislative updates.

So, here’s the bad news.  Not a lot of optimism about Comprehensive Immigration Reform (“CIR”) (see my subsequent post).  Indeed, the number of recent posts from AILA regarding immigration reform have become fewer and farther between.  Not a good sign.  While in soccer and politics, anything is possible (what happened with Spain?!?!?!), it seems we’re not going to have big news for 2014.

But here’s something that may help YOU to change that.  You can become even more active, and AILA will give you the tools.  Even though you have to be an immigration attorney in good standing to join AILA, anyone can access their Congressional advocacy page.  It has a ton of useful information, including Immigration Politics.  It also has very useful information about each Representative and Senator, including their voting history on immigration bills and even personal history about her or him, which you can use for research and to find out ways you can get to know them better, such as reaching out to alumni or members of the same denomination.  Want to keep up on votes?  Want to learn more about bills that have made it out of committee?  Go here and put in your zip code — then you’ll learn more!

Wednesday was also a good day because I got a chance to give a presentation on Temporary Protected Status, which of course got into adjustment based on Matter of Arrabally.  Different USCIS District Offices are adjudicating these in different manners.  But regardless, it is clear that DACA and TPS recipients are benefitting greatly from advance parole as a way to visit their families and loved ones.  And, upon return, seek Adjustment of Status.

Looking forward, there is a lot of speculation that President Obama could go ahead and make some immigration reform if Congress won’t address it.  One way he could fix it and give relief to millions of families would be to issue Parole in Place (“PIP”) to undocumented immigrants.  This would allow thousands more to gain status through Adjustment, and would give them enough legal status to prevent deportation.  Unfortunately, so far, no word on whether this potential fix will become a reality.

Stay tuned for more updates!

John