Minyoung Ohm is a staff attorney with the Religious Immigration Services Section of CLINIC. Prior to joining CLINIC, she was an associate attorney at Carliner & Remes in Washington D.C. and practiced immigration law in a variety of areas, including asylum, family-based visa petitions, and business immigration matters. She graduated from the American University’s Washington College of Law in 2003.
The reasons for which I became a Franciscan Minor Brother are rooted in my childhood.
In the 1960’s, when television entered our home for the first time, I was introduced to the outside world. Specifically, documentaries showed me images of children suffering from malnourishment. Being from a poor, Spanish farming family of 13 brothers and sisters, I immediately identified with the extreme poverty, suffering, and malnutrition of those children. I remember telling my mom: “mom, I want to do something for them.”
As an immigration attorney at CLINIC, I represent hundreds of religious men and women (priests, brothers, sisters, and other religious workers) from all over the world. I feel privileged to be a part of a team assisting these modern day disciples called to ministry in the United States. The diversity and determination of these individuals amazes me; not only where they are from, but also the services they perform and how they were called to religious life.
I was born in Managua, Nicaragua, the second of 5 children. I was about 15 months old when I had my first contact with the United States of America. This happened through my father returning home after spending a year at the University of Florida, Gainsville in a graduate course of Sanitary Engineering.
It has been more than a year since the Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc.’s (CLINIC) Religious Immigration Services (RIS) section began taking Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) cases. Back on June 15, 2012, the Department of Homeland Security announced a new process, granting relief to undocumented young people who came to the United States as children and do not have proper immigration documents. This new program allowed these young people to have work authorization and stay in the country without the threat of deportation.
Thanks to my Felician Congregation, and to CLINIC, who put tremendous work in my next applications, permissions, and visas, I can now serve my Lord, free of worries, in the place where He wants me to be.
On Election Day, it can seem like a burden to wake up early and stand in line at your local polling place, but the ability to vote is a prized benefit of citizenship and an important step in the journey to full integration in the United States. The benefits of citizenship are numerous and the CLINIC network has long advocated naturalization for all eligible permanent residents.