By Eileen Ortegon, Amigos Center Development Specialist
"I am an immigration attorney. I serve the hardest working, most gracious, and truly inspiring group of people in the world." With these words attorney Lindsay Ray explained why she decided to study immigration law.
In 2010, during Lindsay’s first year in law school, Haitian citizens living in the U.S. became eligible to apply for immigration benefits due to their inability to return to Haiti after a massive earthquake. In an effort to help a local immigration attorney meet the high demand for immigration services by thousands of Haitian citizens in the area, Lindsay and a group of her classmates volunteered at Legal Aid Services of Collier County, filling out immigration paperwork.
After spending several weeks as a volunteer at Legal Aid Services, Lindsay became a paid intern there, working under the supervision of Attorney Sister Maureen Kelleher. Lindsay stayed on as an intern for two more years, for the duration of her time in law school. At Legal Aid, she worked exclusively in the immigration field, helping to file family petitions and working closely with victims of crime who were applying for immigration benefits. Her work at Legal Aid sparked her desire to practice law at a nonprofit agency and to serve her clients by providing the highest quality legal services for the lowest possible cost.
In 2012, after she graduated from Ave Maria School of Law, Lindsay began working at Catholic Charities. There, she was an immigration caseworker who helped her clients file family petitions and apply for naturalization. However, Lindsay never forgot the joy she felt as an intern when she was able to serve victims of crime in the field of immigration. And, although she loved her work at Catholic Charities, she wanted to continue to look for ways to help victims of crime.
Lindsay worked at Catholic Charities until 2014. In 2015, she began working at Amigos Center, a faith-based non-profit organization led by Pastor Robert Selle. Amigos Center offers family-based and country specific immigration services. Also, Amigos Center has a special program for immigrant victims of crime. Lindsay is the sole immigration practitioner in this program, and spends half of her time working exclusively with victims of crime. She meets with every client individually, and tailors a plan that meets their immigration needs and fits their lives. Each case is different, and Lindsay loves finding a solution and a path to legalization for each client.
A recent Amigos Center client asked Pastor Selle, Amigos Center CEO,
"Please say a prayer for these documents which give me hope that
I'll finally achieve my American dream. I love this country!"
About her employer she says, “Amigos Center is different from any other law office. The whole staff shares a deep love and a great willingness to help people. This type of dedication and warmth can be felt by the clients, and is truly unique to Amigos Center.”
Amigos Center is a non-profit that provides low-cost immigration services in Southwest Florida. It gives its clients the tools necessary to be a successful and contributing members of the community and of the Kingdom of God. Amigos Center has one immigration attorney, two accredited immigration specialists and two administrative assistants on staff. For additional information about Amigos Center and immigration services, contact Pastor Robert Selle (239) 437-6727