Experts dedicated to defending and advancing the rights of immigrants and refugees across Arkansas.

Our Services

Affirmative Immigration Relief

Arkansas Immigrant Defense is a nonprofit law firm. AID serves immigrant and refugee survivors for free whenever funding allows it. Our services include:

  • N-400s

  • Consular Process

  • DACA

  • 601A Waivers of Unlawful Presence

  • Green Card Renewal

  • U-Visas, VAWA, T-Visas, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status

  • Temporary Protected Status

Defensive Immigration Relief

Child immigrants and refugees are usually placed into deportation proceedings when they turn themselves in seeking asylum at the border. This means they would be returned to the dangerous places they are fleeing. And sadly, they often receive a deportation order without attorney involvement.

AID’s office is a little over 5 hours from the immigration court and so offers defensive immigration services for immigrants and refugees only on very rare occasions and only when our caseload allows for it. For example, it is quite common for AID to handle guardianship for a child in deportation proceedings to allow that child to access Medicaid but then refer the remainder of the immigration case to attorneys who are closer to the immigration court in Memphis.

These attorneys specialize in deportation defense and include our partners at Mid-South Immigration Advocates, Advocates for Immigrant Rights, or Latino Memphis, among others, who are members of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

On rare occasions, we will also handle cases of detained immigrants and refugees.

Meet

The Team

Experts dedicated to defending and advancing the rights of immigrants and refugees across Arkansas.

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Stephen Coger

Executive Director

Stephen worked at a nonprofit law firm in Arkansas for years before serving abroad as a Fulbright Scholar. Stephen attended law school as a Gates Public Service Law Scholar and worked internationally on immigrant and refugee issues before returning home in 2015 to focus on immigration.

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Frank Head

Advisor

Frank has worked on immigrant and refugee issues for nearly three decades, and he mentored Arkansas Immigrant Defense into existence. Frank retired as the director of Catholic Charities Immigration Services in Springdale, Arkansas. Thankfully, he continues to guide AID while helping us reach clients and find the necessary funding to represent them low bono and pro bono.

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Nicole Schaum

Survivor Attorney

Nicole has been serving clients at AID since her 1L internship. A William H. Bowen School of Law graduate, Nicole is now AID’s survivor attorney and specializes in U Visas, T Visas, and VAWA. She is a zealous advocate for her clients. Outside of AID, Nicole enjoys painting, exploring new art galleries, and binging a long Netflix show.

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Silvia Tornay

Paralegal

Silvia Tornay has been a bilingual paralegal at AID since the beginning of 2021. An immigrant from Argentina herself, she loves connecting with clients through their stories and experiences. Some of her favorite moments since joining the AID team have been accompanying clients and interpreting for clients during their naturalization interviews and oath ceremonies. In addition to serving our clients under attorney supervision, Silvia is working towards getting accredited by the Department of Justice.

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Mayra Esquivel

Paralegal

Mayra Esquivel is lead paralegal at AID and is accredited by the Department of Justice to practice immigration law. She has been in the immigration law field since 2018 and graduated with a B.A. in psychology in 2016 from the University of Arkansas Fort Smith. Mayra has been an avid advocate for immigrant rights since 2012. She enjoys helping our clients navigate the complexities of the immigration system and learning new things. She is inspired every day by the resilience of our clients. She also has a special passion for mental health. Off the clock, Mayra enjoys spending time with her family, her husband, Irvin, dog Duke, and friends. She also loves to explore new places, read, and listen to spooky podcasts.

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Lizbeth Hoyle

Survivors Paralegal

Lizbeth Hoyle is a Community Health Worker for the Office of Community Health and Research at UAMS Northwest has been embedded at Arkansas Immigrant Defense as their Bilingual Survivors Paralegal since April 2022.  Before joining AID, Lizbeth worked with clients on their immigration cases at a private law firm. She has worked on naturalization, SIJ, DACA and residency renewals, and asylum cases since joining AID. As a second generation immigrant, Lizbeth is passionate about helping those in her community. Lizbeth holds a Bachelors of the Arts degree with an emphasis in Rehabilitation Science and has submitted her application to become a DoJ Accredited Representative to further assist clients in the immigrant community.

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Sebastià Llull Carmona

Paralegal

Sebastià Llull Carmona  was born in Mallorca, a Spanish island in the Mediterranean Sea. He studied law and worked as an attorney for eleven years in Spain where he opened his own law firm. He helped clients as a Public Defender, and worked on immigration cases in Spain. Now, he continues serving immigrant people as a paralegal at AID. He speaks English, Spanish, and Catalan. He loves spending time with his family, watching soccer, drinking coffee, and reading the newspaper.

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Our Mission

Arkansas Immigrant Defense promotes justice by defending and advancing the rights of immigrants and refugees through direct legal services, community education, and community advocacy.

Our Vision

Arkansas Immigrant Defense envisions a society where immigrants and refugees are welcomed and valued as neighbors and where these neighbors are ensured access to resources like medical care and education.

Contact

Mail

PO Box 8799
Springdale, AR 72766

Phone

479-925-9095

Email

reception@arkansaslaw.org

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