March 7, 2014 – Supporters of the University of Houston Law Center Immigration Clinic gathered Thursday evening to raise funds and honor four Houstonians for their outstanding achievements in their careers and communities since immigrating to the United States.
Winners of the 2014 Arrival Awards are: Sofia Adrogué, Law Center class of ’91,of Gray Reed & McGraw, P.C.; Taseer Badar, ZT Wealth and Altus Health; Mary Foreman, philanthropist; and Dr. Adan Rios,The University of Texas Medical Branch. Former heavyweight boxing champion George Foreman accepted the award on behalf of his wife who was unable to attend.
Interim Dean Richard M. Alderman welcomed guests to the River Oaks Country Club reception and thanked them for their support over the years. “Your support is what makes it possible for the Law Center’s Immigration Clinic to keep providing vital services to the community, and continue training the next generation of lawyers, many of whom have joined us tonight,” he said. “It is my privilege to be here tonight to honor the work of our clinic, and to celebrate the accomplishments of our four exceptional honorees.”
“I’m honored to be at this event which celebrates immigrant achievement,” said Associate Clinical Professor Geoffrey A. Hoffman, director of the Immigration Clinic. “The videos portraying the life stories of these amazing immigrants provide tangible evidence of the crucial importance of immigrants to our economy, society and nation.
“I also am honored to work with my colleagues and exceptional students at the Immigration Clinic, which provides such important opportunities for student learning and professional development.”
Hoffman described the clinic’s work and specific successful cases. “The Clinic along with pro bono counsel was responsible for a Supreme Court win, a Board of Immigration Appeals precedent decision which set forth the standards to be applied in mental competency cases, as well as many other important cases in the last few years,” he said. “With your support, we are able to continue this great work.”
Law Center students, faculty, and supervising attorneys in the Immigration Clinic have represented thousands of individuals facing deportation before Immigration Courts, in appeals, and in asylum interviews before U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The clinic also assists crime victims, including victims of domestic violence, as well as U.S. citizens petitioning for their family members to obtain lawful status from around the world.
Click here for complete bios of winners.