Clare Hanusz founded Aloha Immigration in June 2017, after working with the Immigration Practice Group at Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert in an Of Counsel affiliation since October 2013.
Born and raised in Toledo, Ohio, Clare has lived in Honolulu since 1995 (with an 18-month move to Melbourne, Australia from 2012-2013). After graduating from Ohio University’s Honors Tutorial College in 1991 she moved to Arizona worked for the Valley Religious Task Force on Central America, advocating for immigrants and more just U.S. foreign policies. The opportunity to meet and work with refugees and their attorneys in Arizona propelled Clare to pursue a career in immigration law, and she enrolled in the University of Hawaii’s William S. Richardson School of Law in 1996.
While a first-year student, she was awarded a fellowship from the National Lawyers Guild for a summer internship with the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project in Florence, Arizona. It was there, in the summer of 1998, that Clare litigated her first deportation case for a Spanish-speaking detainee. Upon returning to Hawaii she continued her work with immigrants, serving on the Board of Directors with Na Loio (now the Hawaii Immigrant Justice Center at Legal Aid) where she also spent a summer as a legal intern.
After graduating from law school in 1999, Clare worked at Na Loio heading up a Neighbor Island immigration project to bring legal services to immigrants in rural and isolated communities. She also worked for a two Honolulu law firms and had a solo practice under the Law Office of Clare Hanusz.
Clare has represented hundreds of individuals before the immigration court, the Board of Immigration Appeals, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. She has assisted clients with naturalization, adjustment of status (“Green Cards”), U visas (for immigrant victims of certain serious crimes) and T visas for victims of human trafficking, as well as consular processing, waivers of inadmissibility, asylum, special immigrant juvenile status, employment based and religious worker visas and options for immigrant survivors of domestic violence.
Clare is the recent past Chair of the Hawaii Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), and has served as local AILA liaison to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and as co-chair for the Advocacy Committee. She is also a member of the National Lawyers Guild’s National Immigration Project and a founding member of the Hawaii Coalition for Immigration Rights and the Hawaii Coalition for Civil Rights. She has partnered with the American Civil Liberties Union to litigate cutting-edge motions to suppress in immigration court and serves on the ACLU of Hawaii Litigation Committee. She has written on immigration issues for the Hawaii State Bar Association, AILA, and local publications, and has spoken locally and a nationwide. She has been featured in local, national and international news.
Clare lives in Honolulu with her husband Nevi, a professor of political science at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and two children. Public school advocacy is another of Clare’s passions and she currently serves on the board of Parents for Public Schools-Hawaii.