Impact

Since the founding of the Law Firm in 2005, Stone Grzegorek & Gonzalez LLP has been dedicated to representing indigent immigrants pro bono, collaborating with public interest organizations that are serving immigrant communities, and engaging in immigration law work that is impactful and demonstrates the value that immigrants have on American society.  The Law Firm and its individual attorneys spend many hundreds of hours annually on pro bono cases, and in view of our success in individual matters where we answered the call to provide legal representation for immigrants who cannot afford it, we have been recognized for extraordinary pro bono work by the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Catholic Charities, the ACLU of Southern California, and other organizations.  Demonstrating the breadth of the impactful work of the Law Firm, we also are providing critical immigration law assistance in cases that have rippling impacts far beyond the successes in individual cases.  To cite just a few examples, our work representing world-renowned scientists in immigrating to the United States has facilitated their contributions to understanding of gravitational waves throughout the universe, and on a more earthly level our work enabling immigration of investors has attracted more than $4 billion to the United States and created several thousands of jobs for American workers.

SGG accepts select cases for pro bono representation. If you are interested in having SGG help you but cannot afford legal fees, please complete our Intake Questionnaire and send to sgg@sggimmigration.com or fax to 213-627-8998.

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Scientific innovation

The Law Firm has a robust practice specialty involving world-renowned and highly specialized researchers and scientists.  For example, seven of our clients were involved in the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) project, which is the world’s largest gravitational wave observatory and one of the world’s most sophisticated physics experiments.  Spanning several decades and territory stretching from Washington to Louisiana, the LIGO project has sought to detect gravitational waves, which was done successfully for the first time ever in September 2015. The same detection confirmed the existence of black holes, and constituted the first observation of the collision and merger of a pair of black holes. Essentially, LIGO proves Einstein’s theories about the existence and source of gravitational waves.  Our clients helped calculate the precise behavior of gravity waves, essential to knowing whether a gravity wave was found, and helped solve complex physics and engineering challenges in the areas of mass suspension/thermal effects, laser optics/radiation pressure, seismic attenuation, and heat distortion.

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Economic impact

Our Law Firm is the industry leader in the immigration practice specialty of matching foreign investor capital to US economic growth.  We have successfully represented more than 3,000 EB-5 investor families who have used their investments in the US economy for immigration.  We also have provided the immigration counsel to assist US businesses raise more than $4 billion in capital from EB-5 investors, resulting in many thousands of new jobs in the construction, hospitality, tech, manufacturing, agriculture, renewable energy, retail and real estate sectors.  This capital not only has fueled the growth of startup and emerging businesses, but also has helped revitalize distressed areas and stimulate the clustering of businesses in specialized ecosystems for maximum economic impacts.

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Pro Bono: One family at a time

Providing pro bono representation to people who cannot afford attorneys is part of our mission at the Law Firm.  From the start, we regularly immersed ourselves in immigrant community events like our Law Day clinics in Watts, and brought back to the office full briefcases with the lives of new pro bono clients now our professional responsibility.  In Southern California, we certainly feel the rhythm and the sorrow of families separated by borders.  A decade ago we found solutions for immigrants swept up by Operation Tarmac, and then we helped break the logjam in local courts that had obstructed relief for immigrant juveniles.  More recently, in another case our persistence finally paid off when – after nearly four years of pro bono work – we achieved success for a US Navy seaman whose wife had been denied entry to the United States due to an incident that occurred when she was a minor.  Nothing surpasses the satisfaction of observing the joy of a reunited couple!

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Against family detention

In the summer of 2014, thousands of mothers and children crossed the southern border in flight from surging violence in Central America. The US response was family detention. Thousands of mothers and children were detained in makeshift, remote facilities and the government argued that these mothers and children were a threat to national security.  Immigration officials set abnormally high bonds, effectively denying any possibility of release for mothers and their kids and posing for them either indefinite detention or a perilous return to violent homelands.  We stepped in, and participated in a national movement to provide pro bono legal services at the federal detention facility in Artesia, New Mexico.  After a week of service at the facility, and unwilling to pass the responsibility to other volunteers, we took on representation of six families.  We secured their release from detention and we represent them in immigration courts across the country.  In one completed case, we succeeded in obtaining asylum for an indigenous woman from Guatemala who was the victim of domestic violence.  We are grateful to be a part of the movement to #endfamilydetention and advance new legal theories to obtain asylum for victims of domestic and gang-based violence.

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Social change

We also are privileged to aid immigrants in the LGBTQ community.  In one recent case we won asylum on behalf of a transgender woman who had been brutally abused by the police and others in Guatemala.  Forced to leave her intolerant community, and endangered by her public criticism of the police, she fled north.  Detained at the border and housed with men, our first victory came in securing her transfer to a safer facility.  She became one of the few detained asylum seekers represented by counsel.  Following several difficult hearings before an immigration judge, our client’s application for asylum was granted and she was released after more than a year of detention.  The Law Firm has a strong commitment to providing pro bono legal representation to vulnerable and disadvantaged individuals in our community. Winning lawful status is the first step in enabling these individuals to live freely and proudly, an essential part of the lengthier process of effecting broader social change.
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