I was born in El Paso, Texas. As the daughter of a warrant officer in the U.S. Army, I lived abroad in Germany, and in Washington state and Texas. I graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso in 2004 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a minor in History, and from the University of New Mexico School of Law in 2009. I've been licensed to practice law since 2011. In 2012 I helped draft the immigration plank for Beto O'Rourke's 2012 campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives seat representing the 16th District of Texas. In 2013, I was again consulted by then-Congressman O'Rourke's office regarding the proposed immigration reform bill, SB 744 (Beto O'Rourke went on to challenge Ted Cruz in 2016 for the junior Senator seat from Texas). At the moment I am also participating in PALE, a program through the Consulate General of Mexico to provide legal services to low-income Mexican nationals here in the United States.
My practice is dedicated exclusively to immigration, having a total of 15 years experience in immigration law, both before, during and after graduating from law school. My focus areas include deportation defense (bonds, relief from deportation, and appeals), asylum law, family-based and business immigration (H1-b's, OPT). I have experience in all aspects of the asylum process, including the Credible Fear Interview (both in preparing someone for the interview and contesting a negative finding by the Asylum Office), the preparation of an asylum application packet (including a well-drafted personal statement and supporting evidence), and presentation of an asylum case in front on an Immigration Judge. Because I have always had an interest in human rights and socio-political happenings around the world, I stay informed about global current events that may influence or even force my clients to flee their countries and seek refuge here in the United States. I have worked with people from nearly every continent, and countless cultural, religious and language backgrounds.
In the realm of business immigraiton, I have experience in both first-time H-1b applications as well as renewals and responding to Requests for Evidence (RFE's). Due to the small number of visas available in this category and the high demand each fiscal year, it is crucial that the H1-b application arrive on precisely the right date and be complete so as to be considered "approvable when filed." I have designed a timeline for prospective clients complete with deadlines and an action plan to ensure that applications arrive on time to be considered for the "H1-b lottery" and that employer compliance as well as employee eligibility are well-documented. Sometimes it will turn out that a particular employee a business had in mind may not be eligible or meet the qualifications for the H-1b visa. In such cases I will work with the employer and employee to explore other possible ways for that employee to live and work lawfully here in the United States.
Best wishes, I look forward to working with many of you and helping you meet your immigraiton matter goals!
|Managing Partner/Immigration Attorney||The Islas Muñoz Law Firm, PLLC||2013 - Present|
|Associate Attorney||The Law Office of Norma A. Islas||2011 - 2012|
|Law Clerk, Legal Research Assistant||Law Office of John Lawit, P.C.||2009 - 2009|
|Legal Assistant||Law Office of Dunbar, Armendariz and Hegeman||2009 - 2010|
|Law Clerk||The American CIvil Liberties Union of New Mexico||2008 - 2009|
|Program Coordinator, Accredited Representative||Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center||2004 - 2006|
|Association name||Position name||Duration|
|New Mexico State Bar Immigration Law Section||Section Chair||2014 - Present|
|Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center||President||2014 - Present|
|New Mexico Hispanic Bar Association||Member||2013 - Present|
|The University of New Mexico School of Law Tribal Law Journal||The More Things Change The More They Stay the Same: How 15 Years Later the Constant Threat of an End to the Zapatistas Continues to Justify Their Means||2009|
|University of New Mexico School of Law||JD - Juris Doctor||2009|
|University of Texas System, El Paso||BA - Bachelor of Arts||2004|
|Credible Fear Interview: The Make or Break of an Asylum Case on the Border||Asylum, Credible Fear Interview||2019|
|2013 New Mexico Immigration Law Section Annual Meeting and CLE||Immigration Court Procedure 101||2013|
|Reinstatement of withdrawn I-485||I-485 reinstated, work authorization was approved, and Adjustmnent of Status was Approved.|
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