Rio Guerrero ’98 recently received The Outstanding Filipino Americans in New York (TOFA-NY) award in the category of Public Service. At TOFA-NY's annual awards event at Carnegie Hall, Guerrero was recognized for his 15+ years of pro bono legal service benefiting individuals and organizations in the Asian Pacific American community. Honorable Judge Lorna G. Schofield of the Southern District of New York presented him with a medal, and Philippine Deputy Consul General Zaldy Patron presented him with his award.
Guerrero opened the doors to his boutique immigration firm Guerrero Yee LLP (formerly The Guerrero Law Firm) in 2002. Since then has become a leading member of the immigration bar, successfully representing companies, organizations, and individuals with complicated U.S. visa, work permit, and green card matters. He is particularly known for his creative solutions in profoundly complex immigration cases.
In his acceptance speech, Guerrero acknowledged that the evening's awardees "would not be here today, if it were not for the help and sacrifices of so many who came before us — parents, teachers, and mentors. And, we will never be able to fully pay them back. But, we can pay it forward - to our community and those who will come after us."
Guerrero is no stranger to high-profile honors. In 2012, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) presented him with the coveted “Best Lawyers Under 40” national award. He was selected among distinguished attorneys nationwide for his long and outstanding record of success representing corporate and individual clients in matters involving U.S. immigration law. That same year, Guerrero received the “Contributions to Excellence” award from the Filipino-American National Historical Society (FANHS), in recognition of his national success as a Filipino-American attorney, as well as his commitment to the preservation and promotion of Filipino-American history and culture.
Guerrero’s interest in international human rights issues dates back to law school, where he was an Edward V. Sparer Public Interest Law Fellow working as a legal observer with the Philippine Commission on Human Rights and with several NGOs in Manila. Deeply involved in all facets of immigration law, Guerrero is an active member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), for which he is one of eight members appointed to serve on the National Committee on Health Care Professionals. He also founded and currently co-chairs the Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) Immigration and Nationality Law Committee. His most recent pro bono collaborations include the formation and development of the National Filipino American Lawyers Association (NFALA) and its local affiliate, the Filipino American Lawyers Association of New York (FALANY).