My name is Patrick Meehan. I met my future life partner, Armando in early August 2004 on the beach in East Hampton, NY. By September, he was planning on moving back to Costa Rica, and I followed him there. We spent two weeks on the Pacific Coast down there…I guess you could call that our Honeymoon, as we decided we couldn’t be apart and we decided he’d come back to East Hampton and we’d give it a go living together in my house there.
Over the ensuing years, Armando would have panic attacks every time a police cruiser would come near him while driving; we saw countless ICE roundups of day laborers in our town; and we lived every day in fear that our home and family could be torn apart next. We even had to stop flying, as a friend of ours from Argentina was stopped on a domestic flight from NY to Miami, only to be deported and never to be heard from again…leaving his partner in NY devastated beyond belief. That’s when we took to the road…the only trip we would ever take was to drive to Fort Lauderdale with our dogs and enjoy a break from the Northeast winters. We settled in, but Armando had even more fear here as we were in a bigger city and he felt paranoid at every turn.
June 26, 2013 was the day we’d waited 9 years for…we could finally get married and file for Armando’s legal status as a married couple. We immediately made plans.
But how to do all of this so we were sure to become a legal couple in the US? We knew we needed an immigration lawyer, but how to find one not hostile to a gay male couple? I spotted an ad in the South Florida Gay News for the Law firm of Caro Kinsella. She specialized in immigration, and had recently obtained green cards for bi-national gay couples. I called the firm, and they couldn’t have been more professional…and most importantly calming and assuring. We had a consult with Attorney Kinsella who explained every step of the process, and all the documentation we’d need to gather up. We couldn’t retain her fast enough!!!
Before the wedding, her sympathetic and most helpful staff guided us through the documentation checklist. By the time we left for our DC wedding, Attorney Kinsella’s staff had all in hand they needed. All we needed was the triple seal wedding license from DC, and we’d be ready to file for the long elusive green card.
We returned to Fort Lauderdale, send the license to the Kinsella firm, and within 3 months we had our interview. Attorney Kinsella’s team briefed us on what to expect at the interview and how to handle the process. The dreaded interview is THE milestone in validating the marriage and moving towards green card status. Attorney Kinsella’s staff put us at ease…we had nothing to hide, and they said for us to just go in and be ourselves. We did so, our interviewer loved us a as a couple, and by February Armando’ has his legal permanent residence card in hand.
We are forever indebted to them with our utmost gratitude, and would recommend any bi-national couple facing what we faced to retain Attorney Kinsella and her team immediately. Armando and I would be more than happy to serve as a reference if any other couples in our situation are in search of a firm and would need a personal reference for the Kinsella firm.
Our sincerest thanks go out to Ms. Kinsella and her very competent staff for the professional handling of our application and for the compassionate “hand holding” that got us through the entire process.
With our utmost appreciation
Patrick J. Meehan & Armando Orozco-Vilchez – Ft. Lauderdale, Florida