About Us

A Message
From the Chair

Roy Petty

Hello Immigration & Nationality Law Section Members!

Throughout the 2022-2023 year we will bring you information on the intersection of immigration law and other Texas practice areas plus cutting-edge immigration issues that affect your clients. Have you wondered how a Texas common law marriage affects your client’s I-130 petition or whether a felony DWI will impede your client’s ability to obtain an immigrant visa or adjustment of status? Our speakers and authors have the answers for you.

We provide tools to better run your Texas law practice. We also help meet your annual MCLE and ethics requirements. If you are interested in board certification, we can help you along that path.

Join us for our monthly fourth-Tuesday-lunch-webinar on cutting-edge immigration topics. Due to the overwhelming success of last years’ immigration writing workshop, we are expanding this year’s writing workshop to allow for more participants. Legal writing experts will grade your assignments and give you feedback to become a better writer.

Give some thought to serving your fellow SBOT members by joining one of our committees. I hope to see you soon at one of our events.

Lastly, if you need to contact me, send me an email, or contact me at my office: https://www.roypetty.com/contact-our-office/

Roy Petty

Chair, Immigration & Nationality Law Section

State Bar of Texas

Leadership

Roy Petty

Chair

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Roy Petty

Roy Petty has practiced immigration law for more than 30 years. He focuses his practice on U.S. district court litigation. He is Board Certified in Immigration & Nationality Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. The Dallas Bar Association, Immigration Section, awarded him the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019 for his years of dedication to helping immigrants and other immigration attorneys. He was elected as a Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation.

Roy has served on the Dallas Subcommittee of the Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee of the Supreme Court of Texas. He has testified as an expert witness in immigration matters in various Texas and U.S district courts. His personal interests include orchard and woodland management.

Matthew Myers

Term ends Summer 2025

Texas Bar College; Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch for Immigration Law; Top Attorney in Immigration Law by Austin Monthly.

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Matthew Myers

Matthew Myers practices employment and investor immigration law assisting with cases across Texas and the United States. After handling a high volume of complex immigration matters for the better part of a decade with one of the largest international immigration law firms, Matthew recently started his own inbound U.S. and outbound Global immigration law practice as a Partner with MW Law. He currently serves as the Chair of the State Bar of Texas Immigration & Nationality Law Section, and he is an active member of the Austin Bar Association on the Lawyer Well-Being Committee and the San Antonio Bar Association as Vice Chair of the International Law Section. Matthew earned his B.A. from Austin College and his J.D. from Baylor Law School.

Melody Poole

(Term ends Summer 2025)

Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation. Texas Bar College. Galveston County Young Lawyer of the Year.

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Melody Poole

Melody Poole practices immigration law in League City, Texas. Prior to opening her law office, Melody worked as a staff attorney for Lone Star Legal Aid. Melody currently serves as a director on the State Bar of Texas Immigration and Nationality Law Section and is appointed as an attorney member to the Grievance Oversight Committee of the Texas Supreme Court. She previously served six years on a District Grievance Panel, two as Chair, and as President of the Galveston County Bar Association, and President of the Galveston County Young Lawyers Association. She obtained her B.S. from the University of Texas at Dallas and her J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center.

Claudia Hernandez

(Term ends Summer 2025)

San Antonio Mexican American Bar Association from 2016 – Present, 2021 President-Elect; San Antonio Bar Association Immigration and Nationality Law Section from 2015 – Present, Co-chair in 2015; alumna of the Latino Center for Leadership Development Academy; alumna of the Latina Leadership Institute

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Claudia Hernandez

Claudia Hernandez is an attorney at De Mott, McChesney, Curtright & Armendariz, LLP where she practices immigration and civil law in San Antonio, Texas. Her primary focus is in deportation defense. She has successfully litigated numerous deportation cases in federal administrative courts and helped reunite families. Additionally, Claudia has aided immigrant families in adoption proceedings in Texas civil courts and aided victims of violence. Claudia is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and received her Doctor of Jurisprudence from Baylor Law School. While she attended school, Claudia worked with various groups, including the League of United Latin American Citizens, the Southwestern Voter Registration Education Project and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund. She is a part of the leadership committee for the GED Endowment and Scholarship Program which seeks scholarships to cover GED courses and exams for low income students. She was the former co-chair of the San Antonio Bar Association Immigration and Nationality Law Section and is an alumna of the Latino Center for Leadership Development Academy, and the Latina Leadership Institute.

Amy Thomas

Secretary

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Amy Thomas

Amy Thomas practices immigration law as a Senior Attorney at De Mott, McChesney, Curtright & Armendariz, LLP. She focuses on family-based and employment-based immigration. She received her J.D. from The University of Texas School of Law in Austin and her undergraduate degree in business from Texas Tech University in Lubbock. She is a native of Texas. Ms. Thomas is currently serving as the AILA Liaison to the San Antonio Field Office. She has served as a Committee Member on the State Bar of Texas Immigration & Nationality Law Section since 2017 and is currently the section’s Secretary. She has been active with the San Antonio Bar Association Immigration & Nationality Law Section. She has taught Immigration Law at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) for the past 3 fall semesters.

Justine Daly

Treasurer

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Justine Daly

Justine Daly is a sole practitioner in the practice of law in San Antonio and surrounding areas, specializing in all aspects of Family and Immigration Law. Justine was born of American parents at a mission station in the Meru District of Kenya, and throughout her undergraduate training at Texas A&M University, her legal training at St. Mary’s University School of Law, and her graduate studies leading to an LL.M., in International Law at the University of Miami, she has found that her international background, education and practice have afforded her the ability to view the law through the lens of a global perspective.

Since she was admitted to the Texas Bar, as well as the Federal Court of the Western District of Texas and the Supreme Court of the United States, Justine has continually sought to enhance her participation in the legal profession through her membership in the San Antonio Bar Association, the College of the State Bar of Texas, the Pro Bono College of the State Bar of Texas, the Texas Academy of Family Law Specialists, and the San Antonio Family Lawyer’s Association. She has served three consecutive terms on the Advisory Commission for the Texas Board of Legalization, Family Law.

Justine has also contributed to the academic study of the law for her article that has been used to establish case law nationally “Has Mexico Crossed the Border on State Responsibility for Economic Injuries to Aliens? Foreign Investment and the Calvo Clause in Mexico after NAFTA,” St. Mary’s University Law Journal, Spring 1994. {Cited by the Oregon Court of Appeals in Novich v . McLean , 172 Or App 241, 18 P3d 424 (2001)}. She has spoken before groups as varied as the State Bar of Texas, the San Antonio Bar Association, The San Antonio Family Lawyer’s Association, the National Center for Refugee and Immigrant Children on specific aspects of Family and Immigration Law.

Justine has also sought to give back to her community through her participation on the Board of Directors for RAICES (Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services) and

through a varied record of community service that ranges from serving as a Family Law Mentor, service as Attorney and Guardian Ad Litem for children and indigent parents

Ross Miller

(Term ends Summer 2025)

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Ross Miller

Ross Miller is head of the appeals department at Gonzalez Olivieri LLC immigration firm in Houston, Texas. He holds a bachelor’s degree from St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York and a master’s degree from Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York. He graduated from South Texas College of Law – Houston in 2018, where he obtained his juris doctorate degree. During his time in law school, Mr. Miller was on the Board of Advocates, and he was an award winning, varsity moot court advocate on the school’s nationally renowned moot court team.

Mr. Miller is admitted to the State Bar of Texas, and he is authorized to practice before the U.S. Courts of Appeal for the Fifth and Eleventh Circuits, as well as before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, and the U.S. Supreme Court. He has argued immigration cases before the Fifth and Eleventh Circuits and has represented clients before the Southern District of Texas and the Supreme Court. Since becoming an attorney in 2018, Mr. Miller has been named a Texas Rising Star by Super

Lawyers in 2021 and 2022, and a Top Young Attorney in Texas in 2021 by Texas Monthly. He currently serves as a New Members Division Liaison with the American Immigration Lawyers Association, and as a member of the Immigration and Nationality Law Council of the State Bar of Texas.

Sang Shin

(Term ends Summer 2024)

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Sang Shin

Sang Shin is a partner in the Houston office of Jackson Walker LLP. He was named among The Best Lawyers in America (2021-2022) for immigration law, He handles a wide range of nonimmigrant visas and petitions, and also provides advanced and strategic advice to clients on a variety of immigrant visas and labor certifications (PERM) for numerous occupations. He handles family-based cases and U.S. citizenship matters, and regularly represents companies in connection with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), U.S. Department of State (DOS), and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification) audits.

Beatriz Hernandez

Immediate Past Chair

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Beatriz Hernandez

Ms. Hernandez is licensed by the State Bar of Texas and the Supreme Court of Illinois. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and holds a Council Position on the State Bar of Texas Immigration & Nationality Law Section. She is Board Certified in Immigration and Nationality Law by Texas Board of Legal Specialization. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago and her JD from DePaul University College of Law.

Ms. Hernandez’ passion for Immigration began at an early age while she experienced firsthand the immigrant experience of her own family from San Luis Potosi and Durango, Mexico. While in law school, Ms. Hernandez actively pursued opportunities in human rights, immigration and family law studying in Chiapas, Mexico, Spain, Italy, Greece, and Costa Rica. During her free time, Ms. Hernandez pursues a passion for fitness and wellbeing. She is a certified Yoga teacher, a student of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and bodybuilding competitor. She has also published an article for health and wellness for the American Immigration Lawyers Association. As a mother of two young daughters, she has a passion for travel and teaching her children how to be citizens of the world.

Whitney Drake

(Term ends Summer 2023)

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Whitney Drake

Whitney is a Senior Staff Attorney at American Gateways where she represents low-income clients in a variety of matters, including asylum, family petitions, naturalization, and humanitarian visas. She is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the University of Texas School of Law. Before joining American Gateways, Whitney served as a law clerk for Chief Judge Priscilla R. Owen of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and a legal fellow at The Advocates for Human Rights in Minneapolis.

Teresa Coles-Davila

Chair Elect

Board Certified Immigration & Nationality Law Texas Board of Legal Specialization

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Teresa Coles-Davila

Teresa Coles-Davila is the managing attorney for the Law Offices of Teresa Coles-Davila & Associates, P.C. since 2003 focusing her practice solely on immigration law. She was a visiting professor at St. Mary’s University School of Law from 2000-2002 and an adjunct professor at Texas Tech University School of Law in 1999. She received her J.D. from St. Mary’s University School of Law and her undergraduate degree from the University of St. Thomas (Houston, TX). She was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1998 and became board certified in Immigration & Nationality Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in 2006. Ms. Coles-Davila has served as the AILA / EOIR Liaison from 2007-2015, and also previously chaired the San Antonio Bar Association Immigration & Nationality Law Section from 2008-2015. Ms. Coles-Davila has served as a Family Based section Vice President for the State Bar of Texas Immigration & Nationality Law Section, Vice President for the Detention and Removal section, and currently serves as Secretary for the Immigration and Nationality Law Section.

Ral Obioha

(Term ends Summer 2025)

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Ral Obioha

Ms. Ral Obioha is the founder and Principal Attorney at the Law Office of Ral Obioha, PLLC. She has over a decade of experience in Immigration and Nationality law. Ral represents and advises clients through various immigration applications, including but not limited to family-based petitions, VAWA, H-1B, E-visa, EADs, Advance Parole, EB-5, consular processing, I-140

Immigrant Petitions in the EB categories, as well as Adjustment of Status and Naturalization applications. She is admitted to practice before the federal district courts for the Southern District of Texas and the Western District of Texas.

Ral is an active member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). She currently serves on the Texas State Bar’s Immigration and Nationality Law Section Council.

She is an avid advocate for family unity and is dedicated to serving the immigrant community. She is also active in the local legal community. She has been recognized for her extensive knowledge in Immigration and Nationality law. She has been interviewed and featured by various media outlets, including CNN, Al Jazeera, Fox News, CBS News, and Houston Chronicles. She is a JD graduate of Howard University School of Law and holds an LLM in International Human Rights Law from American University Washington College of Law.

Susana Castillo-Littlejohn

(Term ends Summer 2024)

Roberto Blum

(Term ends Summer 2025)

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Roberto Blum

Roberto Blum practices immigration law in Houston, TX. His practice areas include family-based immigration, asylum and refugee law, humanitarian relief, immigration bonds and detention, removal defense, and immigration appeals. He is a member of the Texas Bar College, serves as Houston Section Coordinator for the Texas Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, and on the AILA National Annual Conference Planning Committee. Roberto received his J.D. from Texas Tech University School of Law and his B.A. from Texas State University. He is fluent in writing and speaking Spanish at a native/bilingual proficiency and enjoys running and photography.