Rachel Winkler is a member of the Cross-Border Risks team. Her practice focuses on immigration benefits and visas, removal defense, and international criminal investigations.
Rachel specializes in providing legal advice to start-ups, entertainment, influencer, fashion, sports, music, and creative-arts industry clients on immigration sponsorship, visa eligibility, and I-9 compliance. She also helps individuals with white collar convictions defend their immigration status and stay in the United States. Through her extensive experience working with federal law enforcement partners and immigration professionals at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Rachel is uniquely positioned to provide strategic legal guidance to businesses and individuals with complex visa problems. She is admitted to practice in Arizona and Florida and is supervised by attorneys admitted to practice in the District of Columbia.
The United States is becoming increasingly difficult to access, and when a problem arises, like a visa denial due to international criminal charges, there are limited opportunities to change an outcome. Where sensitive timelines or business requirements dictate immediate action, the immigration system can cause necessary delays due to confusing, bureaucratic processes. I specialize in these types of complex problems by identifying creative immigration solutions. With my government expertise working across DHS and with other federal agencies, I have the right background and experience to assist.
The current administration’s “Buy American, Hire American,” policy has made it increasingly complicated for foreign artists, actors, musicians, and influencers to obtain visas to work in the United States. For these professionals, access to the U.S. market is a necessary benchmark for a successful international career. I help my clients with these unique skills explain their professional experience in a way that shows their value and positive impact on the United States, leading to visa approvals.
Law-enforcement information sharing makes our country safer and more secure, but the integrity of successfully challenging that information can be questionable, particularly when based on allegations alone. I help clients challenge those allegations when their ability to secure lawful entry into the United States is impacted.
I previously served in a variety of roles with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; this insider experience helps me guide my clients through the complex environment that shapes our immigration process. While at DHS, I handled enforcement and border security issues and made policy recommendations to improve the delivery of immigration benefits and services by the government. I also assisted on development and implementation of comprehensive immigration reform, including programs like Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. I am most proud of my work leading the department’s Council on Combating Violence Against Women and serving as Senior Advisor on anti-human trafficking initiatives—including representing the U.S. government in global summits with international partner governments.
With the U.S. continuing to narrow its doors on lawful immigration, U.S. companies will be forced to work harder and smarter to attract and retain the talent they need to remain competitive globally, and international professionals will face further roadblocks to doing business in America. As the expansion of global information-sharing amongst law enforcement and visa agencies purports to enhance security, it also leads to unnecessary and difficult immigration complications based on unfounded allegations or incorrect derogatory information. Having a strategic plan to address these issues, both on a personal and professional level, is critical to any company, family, or individual who plans to travel or do business internationally.
Bloomberg Law | September 04, 2019
This article highlights the arrival of Washington DC Government Investigations and White Collar Defense partner John Sandweg, a former acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
John comes to NP after leading his own boutique firm, Frontier Solutions. He joins NP along with five team members: counsel Rachel Winkler, associate Catherine Ingram Hunstad, legal assistant Tracey Ford, and investigative directors Jerry Robinette and Miguel Unzueta. John and his five colleagues will spearhead our firm’s new Cross-Border Risks team.
This article also quotes Washington DC Government Investigations and White Collar Defense partner Adam Tarosky on current trends in False Claims Act prosecutions.
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University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law, J.D.
Arizona State University Barrett Honors College, B.S.
Rachel Winkler received a 2021 Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch recognition for Immigration Law.
Rachel is a founding member and past-president of the Military Spouse JD Network, and a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association