Immigration Help When You Need It Most


Joseph Reina

Practice Areas:

  • Immigration and Nationality 100%
Joseph Reina
Rated by Super Lawyers

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Joe has practiced law for over thirty-one years and has been Board Certified in Immigration and Nationality Law since 2000.  From 2003 to 2009, he served on the immigration and nationality law examination committee of the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.  In a statewide survey of attorneys, conducted and published by The Texas Lawyer, Joe ranked among the five best immigration lawyers in Texas.  He has appeared in Best Lawyers in America consecutively since 2001, and in Texas Monthly’s “Super Lawyers” repeatedly. 

Mr. Reina has handled hundreds of deportation cases successfully, including Deanda-Romo, 23 I&N Dec. 597 (BIA 2003) and Quilantan, 25 I&N Dec. 285 (BIA 2010), both of which are precedent decisions from the Board of Immigration Appeals.  He has also filed numerous successful federal lawsuits against U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services as well as against the Department of State and has achieved “about-face” reversals of originally adverse decisions, despite consular nonreviewability.  Mr. Reina also represented Ultrax Records, Inc. and its principal, Mr. Tommy Quon, who discovered, managed, and promoted rapper Vanilla Ice.  He has also represented numerous athletes, including players of the National Football League.

Before immigration courts Mr. Reina has succeeded in countless extraordinarily challenging cases representing green-card holders facing deportation over criminal convictions and aliens convicted of criminal offenses applying for green cards.  For example, he won a waiver and preserved the green card of a permanent resident apprehended at the border smuggling 307 grams of heroin into the United States.  In another case, Mr. Reina successfully pursued a green card for an individual who had spent ten years in a federal penitentiary for an armed bank robbery.  In yet another he secured the adjustment of status to permanent residence of an alien with seven drunk-driving convictions.  He has successfully handled the deportation cases of many other individuals convicted of very serious offenses. 

At the request of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), Joe authored a chapter of The Waivers Book – Advanced Issues in Immigration Law Practice, an important reference for immigration lawyers.  He has authored well over thirty articles on immigration law, including Coming to America:  The “Immigration Dartboard” – A Graphic Presentation of Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Avenues into the United States, 14 Bender’s Immigration Bulletin 672 (June 1, 2009), “Hyperequities”: 212(c) and Cancellation of Removal After Matter of Jean, 7 Bender’s Immigration Bulletin 1549 (Dec. 15, 2002), and “Hyperequities” II: The Removal Case in Detention, University of Texas School of Law (Oct. 15, 2003). 

Mr. Reina has spoken across the United States and abroad on immigration law and policy.  Recently, he was consulted as an expert on U.S. immigration law on Desautels le Dimanche [“Sunday Reflection”], (Radio Canada, July 27, 2014), a nationally broadcast Canadian program.  In 1998 he was asked to address the law faculty and students of the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, in Monterrey, Mexico on the sweeping changes to U.S. immigration law made in 1996.  Both state and federal courts have relied on Mr. Reina’s expert testimony, and even the Department of Homeland Security has called Mr. Reina as an expert witness.

From 2005 to 2006, Mr. Reina was chairman of the Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico Chapter of AILA.  In 2003 and 2004, he served on the National Liaison Committee of AILA to the Executive Office for Immigration Review.  From January 2005 to April 2006, Mr. Reina was officially retained as counsel to the Consulate of Mexico in Dallas on matters involving U.S. immigration law.

Joe has served as an adjunct professor of immigration law at Texas Wesleyan University School of Law in Fort Worth, Texas.  He frequently speaks at immigration law conferences and has helped train the staffs of non-profit immigration-service providers.  In 2002, Catholic Charities of Dallas recognized his mentoring of lawyers helping detained aliens resist deportation. 

Mr. Reina graduated from Georgetown University in 1984.  In 1987, he graduated from the University of Houston Law School, which he attended on an academic scholarship from the Lillian Kaiser Lewis Foundation.  He also completed programs at the University of Dijon (1982) and the University of Salamanca (1984).  He is fluent in French, and Italian, and Spanish.  

Joe is also a SCUBA instructor..  His marine photography appears at  A licensed pilot, he occasionally flies himself to court appearances and other professional engagements.


  • University of Houston Law Center, Houston, Texas
    • J.D., Doctor of Jurisprudence – 1987
    • Honors: magna cum laude
    • Honors: Scholarship from the Lillian Kaiser Lewis Foundation
  • Georgetown University, Washington, District of Columbia
    • B.S., Bachelor of Science – 1984
  • University of Dijon
    • University of Salamanca

      Bar Admission

      • Texas, 1987
      • District of Columbia, 1989
      • U.S. Court of Appeals District of Columbia Circuit, 19 60+
      • U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia, 19 60+
      • U.S. Court of International Trade, 19 60+

      Published Works

      • Fear of Cancer and Increased Risk of Cancer: Problems with Gideon and A Proposal Within, 7 The Review of Litigation 39, 1987


      • Order of the Coif
      • Prudential Award for Excellence in Health Law
      • Karl F. Laudegger Honors Certificate in International Business Diplomacy
      • The Texas Lawyer, Ranked among Five Top Immigration Lawyers in Texas
      • Best Lawyers in America (Woodward/White Inc.), 2002 to 2015
      • Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 2003-2004, 2006-2017, 2020-2021

      Classes & Seminars

      • Adjunct Professor of immigration law at Texas Wesleyan University School of Law

      Pro-Bono Activities

      • Member, Pro Bono College of the State Bar of Texas
      • SCUBA instructor (NAUI)


      • French
      • Italian
      • Spanish

      Professional Associations

      • Texas Board of Legal Specialization, Immigration and Nationality law examination committee
      • Texas, Oklahoma Chapter of AILA, Chairman, 2005 to 2006
      • New Mexico Chapter of AILA, Chairman, 2005 to 2006
      • National Liaison Committee of AILA to the Executive Office for Immigration Review

      Certified Legal Specialties

      • Board Certified in Immigration and Nationality Law, 2000

      Current Employment Position

      • Attorney