November 2018 CityMaker:

Alison Foley

By Jonathan Camargo

There’s a level of passion to all of our endeavors, be they personal or business, that drives us to do better and be better. For our November 2018 Lakeland CityMaker, that passion isn’t just driving her – it’s driving a community of survivors to reclaim their lives, their families, and their communities from the evils of abuse and exploitation.

The Business

Alison Foley runs Foley Immigration Law. Described by a client as being “absolutely amazing at what she does,” Alison handles cases of immigration law with a level of expertise and care that’s unique to her practice. She serves as the legal counsel for her clients, many of whom are perplexed by the intricacies of the immigration proceedings. No matter the case, Alison and her team never fail to handle their clients with the respect and due diligence that they deserve.

“Our motto as a business is ‘experience, compassion, community.’ We feel like those are the three elements that set us apart,” Alison said.

Those very three elements aren’t just a representation of her law firm, though. Alison practices what she preaches, and don’t worry – she can preach.

Everything But

For just over four years now, Alison and her family have been calling Lakeland home. Her husband works as a veterinarian at My Pet’s Animal Hospital and her two children are wrapping up their final years in elementary school.

Life moves fast, but Alison’s along for the ride.

“I’ve been doing immigration law full-time, day in and day out, since 2004,” Alison shared. “Fourteen years of doing this 24/7 basically means that we know we have a more in-depth knowledge than your average general practice attorney who might do that as one of a list of things that they do.”

Her experience is vast and covers everything from visa law to deportation defense, but the one thing that sets Alison apart the most is her connection to the community that loves her so.

“We make every effort to be out in the community,” Alison said. “We really believe in giving back. We do a lot of sponsorships for the community, and we do a lot of pro bono and low bono work. The nonprofit that I founded in part came out of a desire to be able to do more for survivors outside of just the legal realm.”

Alison’s nonprofit, The Red Tent Initiative, was founded in 2015.  A space designed to give control back to the survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking, the Red Tent Initiative empowers its members to regain control of their lives by advocating for and supporting one another.  Herself a survivor, Alison founded the program as a means of turning a negative into a positive – a darkness into light.

From her years practicing law, Alison came to meet many survivors who struggled to navigate the legal minefield that is immigration law while still dealing with their own demons as a result of abuse and exploitation.