Legally Achieving the American Dream: Now Campaigning for Mayor
By Valerie Velazquez-Stetz (Ret.) J.C.P.D.
Arvin Amatorio, Esq. was born to Librado and Sonia Amatorio in the northern section of the Philippines, along with his five siblings. Both of his parents were school teachers and his mother was also involved with politics. Education, their Catholic religion, and community service were very important to the Amatorio family. All through grammar school, Arvin aspired to be a Catholic priest. It was during high school where he became interested in law. Arvin went to college in Manila and then attended the College of Law at San Sebastian where he earned his law degree. His girlfriend Ilya was also educating herself and received her nursing degree. She traveled to NYC to work on several projects. In 2002 she asked Arvin to accompany her several times, which he eventually did. Ilya felt a connection to NYC and wanted to stay when she was offered gainful employment. Ilya works as a nurse administrator at Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC.
Ilya discussed her plans with her boyfriend Arvin and was determined to stay with or without him. Both of their entire families were living in the Philippines and Arvin had to choose his career in the Philippines or starting over with his love in the United States. He made a great choice and began looking into obtaining a green card and gainful employment. He became an adjunct professor in one of Manhattan’s private colleges, all while studying for the Bar exam in NYC. Arvin and Ilya eventually married and were both employed in NYC when they were having their first-born son and they wanted to achieve another American dream of becoming homeowners.
They purchased their first home in Bergenfield N.J., which was affordable for them. Arvin passed the Bar exam on his first attempt. He worked for a few firms and eventually started his own successful practice based in NYC, where he found his passion for immigration law. Arvin has been representing clients for over thirteen years, with matters before US Immigration Offices and US Immigration Courts Nationwide. His passion is helping others fulfill their dream to stay and live in the United States legally.
Arvin felt a strong connection to his new-found home, Bergenfield, NJ, where Filipinos are the largest ethnic group and he developed relationships within the community. He was asked to run for Councilman of Bergenfield by his peers, which he has been very successful at while serving the people as a two term Councilman and Council President. He has been the chairman of the finance committee for the past four years that delivered 0% municipal tax increase for two consecutive years amidst the rising cost of government in the State and in the Country.
Additionally, he is on the police and DPW committees. Being elected to the Council is one of the highest honors and privileges of his life. As an immigrant, he was entrusted with public office and he is taking this as a sacred obligation, which leads to his announcement to run for Mayor in November, alongside Council members Kornbluth and Deauna. If victorious in November, Amatorio will become New Jersey’s second elected Filipino mayor. Amatorio states, “I would like to bring Bergenfield to a different level. I know I can do more for the town and excel.” Arvin spearheaded disabled veteran tax exemption to make sure our returning veterans and surviving spouses have property tax relief. Arvin has the upmost respect for the military and first responders. Other accomplishments include reduction of borough debt of more than four million dollars and lowered tax increases by more than 50%.
As if law and politics were not enough, Arvin serves as the CEO of Pro Health Consulting LLC. and Apex Health Care. Pro Health engages in managing medical facilities, with concierges’ service to first responders, educators, local, county, state, and federal employees and their families. Apex is a professional medical staffing company. Despite his busy schedule, family always takes first priority. He loves spending quality time with his two sons and wife as he instills in his two boys the importance of love of God, family and country.
Valerie A. Stetz (Velazquez) retired on accidental disability from the Jersey City Police Dept. She was injured in a radio car accident responding to a robbery in progress call. Valerie is a member of the NJ Police Honor Legion. She is the radio host for the popular Internet show “Blue World Uncensored” on DDV RADIO.