By Sam Doku, PhD.
When Attorney Ishmael Thoronka graduated from law school exactly 11 years ago, he knew precisely what he wanted to do after working in the New Jersey court system for a year: to establish a law firm that would cater to the unmet needs of the under-served, the underprivileged, and the indigent in DC, MD, and VA.
Attorney Thoronka, a deeply religious man with a perspicacious mind, saw the need to represent immigrants, who need good lawyers to help them navigate the sometimes dreadful contours of immigration issues in the country that some bad attorneys capitalize on to torment and then take advantage of their clients.
“I saw a lot of disfranchised and underrepresented people in the DMV area that needed help with their immigration issues, so I decided to open Thoronka Law Offices (TLO) to create an environment. where our clients would feel comfortable for us to provide them with equal representation,” said Attorney Thoronka.
“I am glad to state that we provide equal representation to all minorities regardless of ethnicity and financial background. We are ten years old this month and progress has been good.”
Attorney Thoronka also touched on the partial amnesty President Barack Obama granted in November 2014 that would allow parents of children born in the United States and those with green cards to be granted legal status that will eventually lead on to their becoming citizens.
However, in February this year, Judge Andrew Hanen, a Texas District Court judge, placed an injunction on the amnesty on behalf of 26 states, including Texas.
When asked on what he thought the outcome of the case would be, Attorney Thoronka, exuding a classic legal trait, carefully mused about the question and responded: “The case is now in the 5th Circuit Court in New Orleans. When one considers the fact that of the three judges in the 5th Circuit, two were appointed by Republican presidents and one by President Jimmy Carter, one is inclined to conclude that the Court will rule against the government.”
He continues, “The reality is that when politics is in conflict with the law, the law always prevails.” In spite of that, many are hoping that compassion will set in, and for the sake of humanity, the judges of the 5th Circuit will throw their weight behind the need for affected families to continue to stay together, will support the effort of President Obama, not for political reasons but on humanitarian grounds.
TLO is co-managed by Mrs. Kamah Thoronka, the other half of Mr. Thoronka. Mrs. Thoronka is an attorney with a poignant mind, who specializes in Immigration Law, Family Law, and Criminal Law, among others. “Probably because of my Christian faith, I am more passionate about immigration because I feel a profound sense of accomplishment anytime I represent clients, and I help them to normalize their stay in the United States.
“It’s a feeling that no amount of money can compensate for. Recently, I helped a client to be taken out of deportation proceedings and when I saw him shed tears of joy, I also started crying. So, for me, it’s my calling. Criminal law comes with more money, but it does not come with the same sense of accomplishment because a lawyer might know that his or her client is lying, but because of a loophole in the law, it is used in exonerating the accused party,” said Mrs. Thoronka who has gained a reputation of being fearless and courageous in her practice.
In celebration of their 10th anniversary, Thoronka Law Offices received many well wishes from appreciative former clients. Ms. Irene Njeru says coyly, “Mr. Ishmael Thoronka is an incredibly effective attorney. I was pleased with how responsive he was to my needs. He even responded to my emails on weekends. My family had a complex immigration issue, and he made sure our needs were met.”
Roberta Sovula also enthusiastically chips in, “With God, all things are possible. I believe Sister Kamah operates under the guidance of the Holy Spirit to spice her up with verse, academic law knowledge, and practice. That’s the way to go, TLO!”
And Kwasi Bright adds with a stroke of brilliance: “Best immigration law firm where the invincible Hand of God is present. No matter the situation, you’ll find a breakthrough at TLO.”
The couple, parents of four children, shed some light on immigrants marrying to acquire green cards. They are of the view that these days, people just don’t marry out of the love they have for each other, they can also marry for financial reasons.
Married couples filing for documentation must know everything about their spouses. You cannot be married to somebody and not know the names of their sisters or brothers. The couple must ensure that they have shared their lives together before filing,” they said.
“The common notion is that there must be a level of compatibility in a marriage, so before you marry, do some research to know a little bit about your partner to put you in a comfort zone. If there are any cultural differences, make sure you work through them so that you can support each other at all times. Take pictures together, but don’t be influenced too much by social media and put everything about you out there.”
With branches in Woodbridge, VA; Wheaton, MD, and Lowell, MA, the firm started life with Mr. and Mrs. Thoronka in 2005, but with progress, the total number of attorneys has increased to four. The attorneys at TLO specialize in Immigration Law, Criminal Law, Family Law, Bankruptcy, Personal Injury, and Civil Litigation. For more information, call 571-285-5242
Finally, Mr. Thoronka has a quintessential piece of advice for immigrants, who have engaged lawyers to represent them: “Don’t indulge in fake marriages. Don’t talk to an immigration officer without your attorney, and don’t sign any document given to you by an immigration officer without the presence of your attorney.”
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