Taiyyeba Safri Skomra Certified Specialist

Taiyyeba Safri Skomra is a Certified Specialist in Immigration and Nationality Law, State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. She has been recognized as a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers for the years 2010 – 2012, and 2015 – 2018.  Ms. Skomra served as a team leader within the Investor/Entrepreneur practice group at our firm, has direct involvement with hundreds of EB?5 cases, and assists regional centers with the preparation of I-829 petitions. She is a co-author of “Entrepreneur Cases Signal EB-5 Eligibility Challenges for Small Businesses,” Regional Center Business Journal (IIUSA 2014), and co-author of “Consular Practice for EB-5 Investors: Recurring Problems and Timing Complications,” Immigration Options for Investors & Entrepreneurs (AILA 2014).

Ms. Skomra also has great depth of experience in family-based immigration, immigration litigation, and the analysis of the immigration consequences of criminal activity (“crimmigration”). She was the lead attorney in Calderon-Rodriguez v. Sessions, a published decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in 2018, winning a remand for a detainee based on failures by the Board of Immigration Appeals, the Immigration Judge, and the Department of Homeland Security to properly handle questions of mental competency.

As a member of the firm’s Community Impact Committee, she directs much of our pro bono work. That work takes place locally, such as through monthly free consultations at a church in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles, and nationally in Immigration Courts across the country, the Board of Immigration Appeals, and the U.S. Courts of Appeals. She was the firm’s 2014 recipient of the Juceam Pro Bono Advocacy award.

Ms. Skomra views the field of immigration law as an opportunity to combine her passions for women’s and migrants’ human rights. Her first contact with immigration law was as the daughter of immigrants. In 2001, she began assisting pro bono clients with filing self-petitions under the Violence Against Women Act. She continued her pro bono work throughout law school at the University of Washington in Seattle, where she served on the board of the Immigrant Families Advocacy Project. Among her other activities in law school, she fought for post-conviction relief through the Innocence Project Northwest clinic.

One of her clinic cases led her to argue before the Washington Supreme Court.

After summers at The Legal Aid Society of New York’s Immigration Law Unit and at the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, Ms. Skomra went on to practice immigration law at firms in Chicago, Illinois. She enjoyed a diverse caseload that allowed her to gain extensive experience in detained and non-detained removal and deportation proceedings, appeals, motions to reopen/reconsider, federal district court complaints for writs of mandamus, waivers for grounds of inadmissibility, asylum and withholding of removal, humanitarian parole, a variety of family-based and employment-based petitions for immigrant and nonimmigrant visas, consular processing, adjustment of status, and citizenship and naturalization.

Speaking Engagements

  • Presenter, “Crimes & Immigration: New Strategies in an Increasingly Challenging Climate,” Los Angeles County Bar Association (April 2018)
  • Presenter, “Appeals & MTRs for Business Immigration,” AILA Southern California Winter/Spring CLE Conference (April 2018)
  • Moderator, “Source of Funds: Mechanics of a Winning Petition,” Los Angeles County Bar Association (December 2016)
  • Presenter, Post-Election Status of Immigration Law and Policy, L.A. Academy of Arts and Enterprise (December 2016)
  • Panelist, “Nuts and Bolts of I-526 Petitions,” Los Angeles County Bar Association EB-5 Conference (February 2016)
  • Presenter, “I-526 Petitions and Source of Funds,” Chicago Bar Association (December 2015)
  • Presenter, “Aggravated Felonies for Immigration Purposes: Determinations and Consequences,” Stone Grzegorek & Gonzalez LLP certified CLE Seminar (May 2014)
  • Panelist, “The Nuts and Bolts of I-526 Preparation and Source of Funds,” Los Angeles County Bar Association EB-5 Conference (March 2014)
  • Panelist, “U.S. Citizenship & Naturalization,” Stone Grzegorek & Gonzalez LLP certified CLE Seminar (February 2014)
  • Presenter, “Protecting your Client from a Difficult Immigration Judge,” Stone & Grzegorek LLP certified CLE Seminar (2013)
  • Presenter, “The Provisional Waiver: The Process – A to Z,” Stone & Grzegorek LLP certified CLE Seminar (2013)
  • Panelist, at St. Lawrence of Brindisi Parish (Watts, CA), “New Process for Certain Waiver Applicants” (2013)
  • Presenter, Los Angeles Paralegal Association (LAPA), “Prosecutorial Discretion” (2012)
  • Panelist, at St. Lawrence of Brindisi Parish (Watts, CA), “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” (2012)
  • Presenter, Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford, “Convention Rights to Privacy and Family Life as a Human Right to Migration” (2009)
  • Guest Lecturer, Knox College, “Genesis of and Gaps in Asylum and Refugee Law” (2007)
  • Guest Lecturer, Knox College, “Effects of War on Immigrant Communities and Immigration Legislation” (2006)

 

Professional Activities

  • Executive Committee Member of the Immigration Section, Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA)
  • Member, American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA)

 

Education

  • University of Washington School of Law, Juris Doctor
  • Mount Holyoke College, Bachelor of Arts, International Relations, magna cum laude

 

Bar Admissions

  • California (2012)
  • Illinois (2006)
  • Washington (2005)
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