Seven facts about immigration in Roanoke



The Roanoke Times just published a great article on “Seven facts about immigration in Roanoke”. 

In the editorial piece, the Times references a report published by the New American Economy, a New York-based non-profit whose stated aim is to “raise awareness of the economic benefits of sensible immigration reform.”

As the article states “the numbers don’t lie, so let’s just look at the numbers.”

We couldn’t agree more.


Poarch Law is thrilled to welcome our new summer intern.

We are thrilled to welcome our new summer intern, Ana Barrios. For the next six weeks, Ana will learn all about immigration and adoption law as she shadows the firm’s attorneys and helps out with case research.

After being with us for a couple of days, Ana has already commented on how much she enjoys the opportunity of familiarizing herself with the variety of cases that pass through our firm. She specifically enjoys witnessing firsthand the commitment and integrity shown with each case.

Ana’s own family is from Santander, Colombia and they have an active presence in the immigrant community here in Southwest Virginia. She is a rising sophomore at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Once she graduates with her degree in business, Ana hopes to study law and practice immigration law.

Welcome, Ana!


Seeing All Sides at the Federal Bar Association’s 2019 Immigration Law Conference.

Seeing All Sides at the Federal Bar Association’s 2019 Immigration Law Conference. 2 minute read

Earlier this May, our Poarch Law attorneys traveled to Austin, Texas to attend the Federal Bar Association (FBA) Immigration Law Section Conference. For two days, Christine Poarch, Jamie McGuire, and Rachel Thompson attended panels that discussed immigration law and its recent policy changes.

For several years now, our attorneys have been attending the FBA’s annual Immigration Law Conference. However, this year, all three attorneys participated in this year’s conference as panelists. On a variety of immigration subjects, they were on stage, alongside other top attorneys, answering questions, giving advice and discussing how best to navigate the complexities of immigration law.

“What is unique about the conference,” explains Christine Poarch when asked why she continues to return to this conference year after year, “is that it is small enough that you get a good deal of interaction with your colleagues within the private and public sector, as well as a lot of interaction with both government officials and attorneys.”

Rachel Thompson and Jaime McGuire also commented on the importance of diversity in the conference’s attendees and how the opportunity to be able to hear the different perspectives of the attending government and private bar attorneys is crucial to how our attorneys handle their cases.

All three attorneys are planning on attending FBA’s Immigration Law Section Conference next year in Detroit, MI.

Rachel, Jaime and Christine (with spouses) at dinner on last night of the conference.

PLF Attorney Christine Poarch with Kate Goettel (Litigation Attorney, National Immigrant Justice Center, awarded FBA-ILS’ NGO Lawyer of the Year) and Lauren McClure (Attorney at Kriezelman, Burton & Associates in Chicago, awarded FBA-ILS’ Younger Lawyer Award)

PLF Attorney Elizabeth “Betty” Stevens, President of FBA-ILS awarding Lauren McClure (Attorney at Kriezelman, Burton & Associates in Chicago) the FBA-ILS’ Younger Lawyer Award.

Texas State Capitol

Texas State Capitol

UT Tower

Inside the Capitol Rotunda

Inside the Capitol Rotunda







Upcoming Webinar for immigration attorneys on U Visas & VAWA consular processing.

At the recent Federal Bar Association Immigration conference in Austin TX earlier this month, our own Jaime McGuire along with Lauren McClure from Kriezelman Burton & Associates, LLC and Danielle Fritz from Immigration Center for Women and Children, presented a very well received talk on U Visas and VAWA consular processing.

The U visa is set-aside for victims of certain crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse and are helpful to law enforcement or government officials in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity. The Federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), allows you to become a lawful permanent resident (if eligible) if you are the victim of battery or extreme cruelty committed by a U.S. citizen or permanent resident who is a family member.

Jaime McGuire

These extraordinary circumstances are challenging to navigate and Lauren McClure and Jaime McGuire, in this one-hour webinar, will be presenting on ways to bring clients into the United States and will include practical pointers and challenges they have faced.

Congress created the U nonimmigrant visa with the passage of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (including the Battered Immigrant Women’s Protection Act) in October 2000. The legislation was intended to strengthen the ability of law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute cases of domestic violence, sexual assault, trafficking of aliens, and other crimes. It also is designed to protect victims of crimes who have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse due to the crime and are willing to help law enforcement authorities in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity. The legislation also helps law enforcement agencies to serve victims of crimes better.

Lauren McClure

This will be an interactive program, so please email any questions you might have in advance to

The webinar can be accessed on May 28 at 3pm EST  by clicking the following link: Please remember to turn off your video and mute yourself upon entering the webinar.

The Annual Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys Conference 2019.

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Earlier this year our own Christine Poarch was named a fellow of the prestigious Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys (AAAA or “Quad-A”). Fellows of AAAA are considered legal thought leaders and are a highly vetted, experienced group.

Last week Christine attended the annual conference in Seattle for the first time. So we sat down with her, over a lovely emerald city coffee to ask what she thought of it.

What was the conference?

I just returned from the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys annual conference in Seattle. This was my first year attending because only Fellows can attend the annual conference and I was just accepted this past April into the Academy. I was among 34 new fellows who attended the conference, and 300 or more other adoption lawyers. There are only about 500 Fellows worldwide.

Why did you go? What were you hoping to get from it /learn/connect?

All new Fellows are required to attend the first annual conference after they’re accepted, but honestly, that wasn’t a burden. The sheer number of adoption attorneys, like me, who believe that adoption law isn’t something you dabble in, that it’s an area that requires practitioners to develop competencies beyond the knowledge of state law and procedures, was inspiring. And I got to meet a number of colleagues who, like me, have grown a practice where immigration and adoption law meet.

I also met adoption lawyers in person that we had worked with on client matters in the past and other members whose names were familiar to me online. AAAA Fellows are incredibly generous in connecting on and offline, but having some facetime with folks that I have worked with or will be working with was great.

The benefit of this conference wasn’t just being among like-minded professionals, it was also the wealth of resources it gathers under one roof–both in vendors/companies that help you offer better family adoption lawyer resources, but especially in the combined experience of its attendees and presenters.


Freshman year at AAAA conference 2019

The “Freshman 2019”, including our own Christine Poarch (11th from the left).


What are your three main takeaways? and what do they mean for prospective parents, families?

I plan on attending this conference every year because the work of this organization goes beyond furthering attorneys’ understanding of concepts like abandonment and trauma and their effect on adopted families. It’s also about advocacy on issues that matter to adoptive families. For example, the fact that the tax code doesn’t permit adoptive parents to take the Child Care Credit when they are not in receipt of the permanent social security number for their child. The conference was a platform not just for networking and knowledge-sharing, but also pointed calls to action on issues that affect adoptive families and the adoption process.

Where their specific speakers that were impressive, had things that resonated with you?

The first plenary session was an in-depth review by Neha Desai of issues related to migrant child detention, much of which I knew as an immigration attorney. It was moving to watch attorneys who work with children, but not within immigration law witness and respond to the injustice of child detention. And it’s not just at our southern border, but also at youth detention facilities including ones in our own backyard here in Virginia. The other sessions I attended led by Stephen Pennypacker about the new accreditation process for international adoption agencies and ethical considerations in representation by Mark Johnson, was also well-presented, informative and helpful.

Worthwhile? Main takeaway? What two things are you going to do as a result of going?

I’m certainly going to be more involved in the International Committee work and have already reached out to those established AAAA members on that Committee about what’s needed.

If there’s a main takeaway from the meeting it is that AAAA members are committed to constantly improving their practice. They are willing to put significant resources in play to further better representation for clients and that they’re willing to engage governmental and regulatory agencies to advocate for their clients. It was also so refreshing to see how they are so generous with their time and knowledge.

Thank you, Christine.


Working with Poarch Law on domestic and international adoptions

Poarch Law are experts in the legal adoption process and will help you every step of the way to navigate domestic and international adoptions, private adoption, foster care and open adoptions, semi-open and closed adoptions. We will help you complete what can seem like a daunting amount of paperwork, assist with your plans, adoptive parent profile, home study, and ICPC submissions if adopting from another state.

Our promise is that our friendly and attentive team will be by your side, managing the case to a happy and final conclusion.

Contact us for more information and help.

Christine Poarch Recognized As One of the Top Adoption Attorneys in US

Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys recognizes Christine Poarch as a legal thought leader with Fellow designation.

Image of person smiling at camera


Salem-based Immigration and Adoption Attorney, Christine Poarch, has been named a Fellow of the prestigious Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys (AAAA or “Quad-A”).

The Academy is an exclusive, worldwide organization, whose membership must have extensive, proven experience in the practice of adoption law. Fellows of AAAA are considered legal thought leaders and are a highly vetted, experienced group. Currently, the majority of Virginian attorneys in the academy are based in and around DC and Christine is the only attorney with a practice in Southwest Virginia.

President of the Academy Eric Stovall said, “We are delighted to welcome Christine into the Academy. Having a resource of her caliber in Southwest Virginia combined now with the support of the Academy will be a great asset to the local community. “

Poarch’s work as an Immigration and Adoption attorney has spanned almost two decades. A frequent speaker at national, state and local conferences, Christine is a recognized leader in the field of immigration and adoption law. Christine serves on the Board of Governors of the Federal Bar Association, is rated AV Preeminent (highest peer rating) by Martindale-Hubbell and is also a Virginia Law Foundation Fellow.

“The work we’ve done in international and domestic adoption is some of our most challenging and rewarding. It’s both an honor and an opportunity to be named an Adoption Fellow.” Christine Poarch said.

Poarch’s induction into AAAA follows a highly selective process, including extensive demonstrated expertise, audited professional experience, a referral for admission by several current AAAA members, and a rigorous review of ethical practices.

The Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys (AAAA) is a credentialed organization dedicated to the competent and ethical practice of adoption and assisted reproduction law. It advocates for laws and policies to protect the best interests of children, the legal status of families formed through adoption and assisted reproduction, and the rights of all interested parties.

See the full news release here.

Poarch Included in 2019 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America

immigration law, immigration lawyer, roanoke lawyer, salem lawyerPoarch Law Attorney Christine Lockhart Poarch was selected by her peers for inclusion in the 2019 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America© for her work in Immigration Law. Christine is also a Fellow of the Virginia Law Foundation and is rated AV Preeminent by her peers on Martindale-Hubbell.

Christine’s Best Lawyers® profile can be accessed here.

For further information, please contact:
Elisabeth Bass, Marketing Assistant

Rachel Thompson Receives Federal Bar Association Award

Congratulations to attorney Rachel Thompson for receiving the Federal Bar Association Immigration Law Section Younger Lawyer of the Year Award.

Rachel was recognized this past weekend in Memphis, Tennessee, during the annual conference for her work with the Younger Lawyers Division of the Federal Bar Association and her work in immigration law.



Attorney Christine Poarch Speaks on Good Day Virginia

Analyzing immigration reform: Christine Poarch breaks it down on Good Day Virginia

Virginia First: 1/11/2018

The original article can be viewed here.