Diana Vellos Coker


Fighting for The Rights of Immigrants

Ep. 29 - Diana Vellos Coker is a partner with the immigration law firm Larrabee, Albi, and Coker. Being the daughter of a Belizean immigrant, Diana Vellos-Coker decided to become an immigration lawyer to bring about a change she saw needed in the immigration system. She had to convince her father that being an attorney was appropriate for her as he was of the belief that there were certain occupations that were appropriate for women like being a nurse and there were other occupations that were less honorable like her choice of profession. She further describes her journey as a female immigration lawyer, the obstacles with the immigration systems and the changes she now sees in this field. Diana Coker was influenced by her father's difficult experience when immigrating from Belize to the USA. She wanted to do things better and honestly to help immigrants settle here with less problems. Vellos-Coker also shares some of the fears experienced by the immigrants and the benefits of a fully functional immigration systems.

Top Takeaways:

    • The effects of the immigration law enforcement era on everyone that has to do with it.
    • How immigration attorneys are acting as legal and social counselors for people directly affected by immigration law.
    • The social-economic benefits of having a functioning legal immigration system
    • The progression of gender equality in the field of immigration law over the last 20 years
    • The importance of educating yourself in immigration law so you become armed to help where you can

Listen in to learn what you as an ordinary American citizen can do to help.

"Find out what motivates you. What lets you fall asleep at night with a clear conscience and follow that. Follow your passion because it will carry you forward through all of the hard times." -Diana Vellos Coker

Diana finds the practice of immigration law rewarding on many levels. Whether she is strategizing with a company regarding the immigration impact of a merger or explaining our complex immigration system to an individual seeking to make the U.S. their permanent home, she appreciates the challenges in our legal system and the real lives impacted by the immigration process. Diana understands her role as an attorney is not only to secure a specific immigration outcome as efficiently as possible but also to advise employers and individuals so they understand the process and feel empowered as a result.

She is an AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated* attorney whose practice includes a broad range of business immigration matters including hiring and retaining foreign national employees, implementing overall immigration policies and procedures, and compliance matters such as I-9 and LCA mock-audits and training.  Diana serves as an Ambassador for the American Immigration Counsel and on the Executive Committee for the San Diego chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Diana is a member of the Sandy Diego chapter of NAWBO and is a former Board member and Director of Advocacy. She also lectures and writes on a wide range of employment immigration topics.

Listen to learn about the complexity of immigration law.

Key Moments:

Diana explains her role as an immigration attorney and the branches of law that fall under immigration [1:16]

How immigration law is becoming harder by the day and its effect on Latino and Muslim immigrants [2:33]

Why it is important to broaden our perspective when looking at immigration solutions [6:00]

The importance of immigration law on individuals directly and indirectly affected by them [7:35]

Diana describes how she was affected by her father's immigration story to become an immigration attorney herself [8:55]

The hurdles and challenges she went through by choosing a career path in immigration law [10:40]

She talks about the importance of her cases and gives a story of a certain case that stood out at the beginning of her career [12:29]

Why today is the hardest the immigration law field has ever been [14:44]

Diana explains why her hopes for her children is they do not lose their humanity as they become adults [16:12]

Her advice on young women and men as they pursue life and careers [17:52]

Learn what you can do to help in the immigration sector [19:55]

Larrabee Albi Coker Firm

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