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Committed to Excellence

Carolina Immigration Law is a non-profit immigration law firm that offers legal services to immigrants through our community partners. By leveraging technology and partnering with immigrant community service organizations whose staff help with the intake process, our doors stay open to new cases at all times. We provide affordable services because we believe that immigrants deserve excellent representation when seeking a legal status.

Our Story

Our co-founders, Sharon and Wayne, met while Wayne explored ways to serve the immigrant community in the Charlotte area. Recognizing the need for affordable and accessible immigration legal assistance, Wayne wanted to make a meaningful impact. An initial meeting together evolved into creating the Carolina Immigration Law Firm. By uniting Sharon’s extensive immigration legal and non-profit experience with Wayne’s background in the private business sector, we’re poised to serve organizations and communities in ways we never imagined.

Meet Our Team

Kiara Vasquez

Kiara Vasquez, Supervising Attorney

As the daughter of a first-generation immigrant family, Kiara’s early experiences inspired her to pursue a legal education to help people. Kiara specializes in handling diverse immigration and family law cases. She’s passionate about advocating for and addressing the legal concerns of immigrants in her community, which is what led her to join Carolina Immigration Law.

Before joining our team, Kiara worked as a Supervising Attorney with the Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy, working in the Immigrant Justice Program. Kiara has directly represented immigrants in removal proceedings, applying for various forms of immigration relief and supervised a pro bono program that included 100 volunteer attorneys providing legal services to immigrant families. She is adept at providing training and legal support to other attorneys.

Before working at Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy, Kiara worked at the Immigration Project, a non-profit legal service organization in Illinois, as an immigration attorney representing immigrants in central and southern Illinois. Outside the office, Kiara enjoys cross-fit, reading, and spending time with her family.

Education

  • Charlotte School of Law, J.D., 2018
  • University of North Carolina in Charlotte, B.A., 2014

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Sharon Dove

Sharon Dove, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Legal Operations

Sharon holds responsibility for the smooth operation of the law practice. Before joining Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy, Sharon was the Director of the Advocacy Center’s Immigrant Justice Program (IJP). Prior to that, she served thirteen years as the Managing Attorney of Legal Aid of North Carolina’s Gastonia office.

At Legal Aid, Sharon grew the Gastonia office into a powerhouse for landlord-tenant advocacy. Between 2005 and 2012, the Gastonia office received favorable decisions in many key cases in front of the North Carolina Court of Appeals. Sharon’s other accomplishment at Legal Aid was to vastly expand the Gastonia office’s reach into the immigrant community, with the office representing immigrants in a wide range of housing, domestic violence, benefits, and consumer protection cases. Sharon accomplished this by hiring a bilingual paralegal and becoming fluent in Spanish.

At the Advocacy Center, Sharon has built the IJP into a highly skilled and devoted team of attorneys and paralegals who advocate for immigrants in removal proceedings, with a special focus on Special Immigrant Juvenile Status and asylum cases. The program has received attention from national funders, in particular, due to the innovative ways it has engaged other immigration stakeholders in collaborations that leverage limited resources to serve the maximum number of immigrants. Sharon also created a statewide removal defense network that provides free immigration relief screening and free or low-bono representation to certain immigrants identified through the screenings. The program leverages technological innovations that enable pro bono attorneys statewide to conduct virtual consults for immigrant respondents.

Education

  • New York University School of Law, J.D., 1998
  • University of California, Berkeley, M.A., 1993
  • Johns Hopkins University, B.A., 1992

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Helen Caldas

Helen Caldas, Immigration Paralegal

Born and raised in Colombia, Helen holds family, education, and hard work in high regard. Having experienced economic challenges firsthand, she embarked on a career in the legal profession. After earning her degree in modern languages, Helen migrated to the United States through a cultural exchange program. She then enrolled at the Community College of Philadelphia, where she obtained an Associate’s degree in Criminal Justice. During this time, she worked as an interpreter, ensuring immigrant patients received quality care by translating for physicians during medical appointments.

Before joining our team, Helen began her legal career at Spear Wilderman in Philadelphia, guiding many people worldwide on their immigration proceedings. Working directly with clients, she provided guidance, conducted intakes, and prepared petitions and applications for USCIS. During this time, she became exposed to family law, handling various custody and divorce cases.

Helen is deeply passionate about helping fellow immigrants find legal assistance and cherishes the opportunity to positively impact others to make their dreams and goals come true. Outside of work, Helen enjoys spending time with her dog, hiking, and exploring North Carolina’s rural scene.

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Genesis Mondragon

Genesis Mondragón, Immigration Paralegal

Genesis relocated with her family from Chicago, IL, to Charlotte, NC, in 2005. As the daughter of immigrants, she has Mexican roots and always aspired to work with an immigration law firm to help others gain citizenship. Genesis believes in the importance of competent and loyal legal representation, especially when assisting immigrants in the United States.

Over the last five years, she’s balanced her professional journey as a paralegal while furthering her education. Genesis graduated with a bachelor’s degree in International Studies and eagerly anticipates merging her interdisciplinary expertise with her legal acumen to advance her career in immigration.

Genesis loves attending concerts, traveling, and baking in her spare time.

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Wayne Snyder

Wayne Snyder, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Wayne is charged with leading the business side of the practice while developing relationships with the community partners. After feeling God leading him to leave his full-time job in corporate sales management in the telecommunications industry, Wayne founded and volunteers as the Executive Director of Atulado Ministries. Today, Atulado Ministries supports the Christian Church in Cuba. Wayne has led dozens of teams on mission trips to the island.

During Wayne’s career in telecommunications, his accomplishments included a first-to-market, ten-year contract for a service that was invented for the opportunity, resulting in the award of a patent for Wayne and a colleague. He was often selected to fill international business roles, including temporary duties in France, Germany, South Korea, and Taiwan. After a successful tenor as a sales professional in the Fortune 500 space, Wayne took a leadership role. His tenure in the private sector managing teams and large revenues has allowed him to build and operate top-performing teams and businesses.

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