In a recent article for the American Immigration Lawyers Association’s online publication, Stok Folk & Kon attorney Sheri A. Benchetrit provided readers with an illuminating insight into one attorney’s professional path that led her to the practice of immigration law and the pivotal moment when “I knew why I became an immigration attorney.” The autobiographical article brings into sharp focus the zeal, passion, and personal dedication Benchetrit brings on behalf of each of her immigration law clients.
Benchetrit, who has been with Stok Folk & Kon for more than half a decade, began her practice in 1992, relocating to Miami in 2006. Shortly after coming to South Florida, Benchetrit began focusing her professional efforts exclusively on assisting immigration law clients. Two years later, Benchetrit encountered the case that would serve as her proof that her focus on immigration law was the right choice. Benchetrit had met a minister who told her of a Haitian woman being held at an immigration detention facility in Broward County. The woman had a husband and four children who were already in the US and had become US citizens. The woman had applied for asylum years earlier, but the application had become entangled in the procedural complexities of the immigration system, with some of her filings suffering from her failure to seek legal assistance in completing them. As a result, her application was ultimately denied.
While Benchetrit worked on behalf of this client, immigration authorities actually deported the woman back to Haiti. Nevertheless, Benchetrit continued to advocate tirelessly for her client. She filed new motions, attempted to meet with immigration officials, and conversed with attorneys for the government. Eventually, her hard work produced results when the government finally granted the woman’s I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) application. This was not the end of the road, however, since Benchetrit still had to obtain approval for the woman’s I-601 (Waiver of Inadmissibility) as well.
While Benchetrit and her client awaited an outcome on her case, a massive earthquake struck Haiti, which triggered an enormous cholera outbreak. For Benchetrit, the case was more than just achieving a legal victory. “As a mother, I couldn’t imagine the pain of being separated from one’s children for years. However, as a lawyer, I felt helpless and worried sick about my client’s survival.”
All the hard work paid off in early 2011 when, after approval, Benchetrit’s client flew one last time from Haiti to Miami. The client and her family visited Benchetrit before returning to their St. Lucie County home. “We hugged, we cried, and took pictures. It was a very powerful experience knowing that I helped to reunite a 10-year-old boy with his mom,” Benchetrit explained. This was “the moment I knew exactly why I became an immigration lawyer.”
Benchetrit brings this level of professional skill and personal dedication to bear on behalf of all of her clients, as do each of the attorneys at Stok Folk & Kon. If you have an immigration issue, contact the Florida immigration law attorneys at Stok Folk and Kon. Our attorneys bring the full weight of their education, experience, and personal zeal to help you achieve your American dream. Contact us online or by calling (305) 935-4440 to schedule your consultation.More Blog PostsHaitian Nationals Granted Temporary Protected Status Extension, Florida Business Lawyers Blog, March 4, 2014
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