About Us – Saenz-Garcia Law

About Us

Arvin Saenz, Attorney 

Arvin Saenz is a first-generation Mexican-American. He was born and raised in the border town of El Paso, Texas. Before working in immigration and deportation defense, Arvin joined the nation’s most elite military branch (United States Marine Corps) at the tender age of 17. As a field radio operator, military policeman, and corrections specialist, Arvin has visited and lived in countries abroad. After returning from combat deployment (Ramadi, Iraq 2005) he decided to put his mental faculties to work and earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Texas at El Paso with a major in Accounting. After earning his bachelor degree, he worked the business private sector in various management positions before working civil service for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Arvin’s devotion and empathy for others inspired him to seek a profession in the legal field. Namely, working in deportation defense. In just two and a half years, he earned a law degree from Charlotte School of Law along with Pro Bono honors gained from immigration-related work. During his tenure as a law school student, Arvin volunteered over a hundred fifty hours of his time—he helped clients accused of crimes by co-authoring appellate briefs in the Texas 8th Court of Appeals as well as assisting central American immigrants with their applications for asylum relief.

As an attorney, Arvin has obtained litigation experience (over 50 contested cases in Administrative Court) and has authored many appellate briefs. Arvin is an active member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and is fluent in Spanish. He is active in community events that aim to empower and embolden immigrants. He has volunteered legal services for various agencies such as Catholic Charities, Juntos Podemos, North Texas Dream Team, and the Dallas Mexican Consulate. Arvin has volunteered deportation defense services traveling to Mexico in order to help immigrants get out in the highly controversial “wait-in-Mexico” program.

Arvin’s other interests aside from immigration are chess and tax preparation

Mark Lee, Attorney 

Mark Lee earned a bachelor’s degree in political science at the University of Texas at Austin and a doctorate in law at Baylor University School of Law in Waco, Texas. Before settling on immigration law as the focus of his practice, he worked as a prosecutor, criminal defense attorney, and a civil litigator in both state and federal trial courts. His broad litigation experience provides a strong underpinning for his immigration practice.

Mr. Lee became interested in immigration law by volunteering his services to a Dallas non-profit organization. Soon he took a position in a small Dallas firm where he focused on asylum and brought suits against the government in immigration-related cases. He has since served as a staff immigration attorney for Catholic Charities in Houston, supervising its battered women and crime victim programs and litigating cases for asylum-seekers and unaccompanied juvenile immigrant detainees.


Before joining Saenz-Garcia Law, LLP, Mr. Lee practiced in a medium-sized Dallas area immigration firm, focusing on all manner of deportation defense, family petitions, consular processing with waivers, naturalization, and appeals to the Board of Immigration Appeals and USCIS Immigration Appeals Office. Mr. Lee is a native Texan. Outside work he most enjoys music, travel, and
fatherhood.

 

Bar Admissions

  • State Bar of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Judicial Circuit

Education

  • Baylor University School of Law
    • Juris Doctor (JD)
  • University of Texas at Austin
    • Bachelor of Arts (BA), With Honors


Professional Associations and Memberships

  • American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) (2000-Present)

 

Languages

  • Spanish
  • English

Russell T. Doncouse, Attorney

Russell began clerking for the VA District Counsels Office in Des Moines, Iowa in 1991, reviewing appeals by veterans who were denied claims for benefits. After graduating from Drake University Law School in 1993, Mr. Doncouse worked for Allied Insurance Group for two years before opening his own Law Firm in 1995, whose practice specializes in Immigration and Federal law.

He has passed State Bar examinations in Iowa (1993) and Utah (1994). Currently maintaining his State license in Utah, Mr. Doncouse was admitted to practice in U.S. Federal Courts and jurisdictions, by the United States Court of Appeals, for the Tenth Circuit, in 1997, allowing him to represent clients in Immigration Courts, and Federal Appellate Courts, throughout the United States.

Claudia Hernández

Claudia was born in Chihuahua, Mexico and immigrated to the United States as a child.  After graduating high school with honors, she attended Baylor University on a full scholarship where she graduated from in 2006.  While at Baylor, she studied abroad at the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey in Mexico.  She was also a member of Sigma Iota Rho National Honors Society. 

After graduation, Ms. Hernández began working in the immigration law field.  She became fully accredited by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) and successfully litigated cases in immigration court. As a BIA representative, Ms. Hernández represented clients in a wide array of cases including removal proceedings, family-based cases, appeals, consular visas, and victims of crime.  Ms. Hernández has extensive knowledge and experience in immigration law and procedure.  She has held management positions at several organizations. 

During her spare time, Ms. Hernández has volunteered as an event coordinator for the Mexican Consulate of Austin, and has taught civics courses to immigrants interested in naturalizing.  Ms. Hernández is also a member of the Community Race Relations Coalition.

Ms. Hernández takes pride in helping immigrants due to her own personal journey in the immigration system. 

Flora Alarcon

Flora was born in North Texas to immigrant parents. After graduating from high school, Flora continued her education at the University of Texas in Arlington. She completed her Bachelor’s in Social Work in 2017, and went on to obtain her Master’s Degree in the field of Social Work with a specialization in Medical in 2018. She was introduced into the immigration field in early 2018.

Flora is a paralegal in the immigration practice group. Although Flora is experienced  with all types of immigration cases, her main focus at Saenz Garcia Law is deportation defense. She assists with document examination and management, drafting motions, fact development, research and merits hearing preparation. Flora is compassionate toward each and every one of her cases, and strives to educate all on proper immigration procedures.

Carolina Ortiz Quiñones

Carolina was born in Dallas, TX, she is bilingual and comes from a Mexican household. She graduated top fifteen percent of her high school class in 2015 and was part of an all-state Mock Trial Team and the Law Academy. She is currently attending classes at Texas A&M University and the Center for Advanced Legal Studies. In January 2021, she will be obtaining her Paralegal certificate from the Center for Advanced Legal studies and her Bachelor’s degree in business administration. She is also currently part of the mock and debate team in her school. 

Ms. Quiñones has several years of customer service experience, as well as experience assisting on family and immigration cases.  She is interested in pursuing a career in the legal profession and helping immigrants due to her personal background.

Ivette Melgarejo

Ivette is our personal injury intake specialist. She possesses a go-getter attitude and has compassion for our clients personal injury needs. At Saenz-Garcia Law, PLLC she manages cases by filing claims, establishing coverage and liability, ordering and organizing medical records and bills and maintaining a close working relationship with clients and clinics. Her main goal at Saenz-Garcia Law, PPLC is to make the attorneys life easier by treating each client’s file as if it were her own and help you obtain the settlement that you deserve.

Ivette is also an immigration paralegal who has helped many immigrants in the past 9 years in Texas and internationally. She has assisted with many family petitions, Naturalization, Removal of Conditions, Employment Authorization Documents, Visitor’s Visa, U-Visa, VAWA, and Fiance Visa. In her spare time Ivette provides self-defense handgun training. She enjoys hiking, cycling, traveling, concerts, and volunteering at local nonprofit organizations. Ivette is a devoted mother of two.