2014 Equal Justice Works Fellow, Jesus Mosqueda

Jesus Mosqueda

Name of Host Organization: Public Counsel
City, State: Los Angeles, California
Issue area: Immigrant Populations, Children/Youth
Sponsors: Anonymous

The Project

Jesus identified and represented youth in the Los Angeles County juvenile justice system (LAJJS) who qualified for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), putting them on a path to U.S. citizenship rather than deportation.

The Inspiration

Need Addressed By Project: 
This project served abused, abandoned, and neglected undocumented youth – typically poor youth of color between the ages of 13 and 18 – in the LAJJS. Although not born in the United States, many of them have grown up in this country and have strong roots here. Still, they lack a crucial element in their lives: lawful immigration status. They face the well-known hurdles that all abused, neglected, and abandoned children do, but their challenges are even greater if the U.S. Department of Homeland Security learns of their presence, as most will be subject to deportation.
Fellowship Highlights: 
In the past two years, Jesus has:
• Performed intakes for over 200 undocumented youth seeking immigration relief
• Represented 50 SIJS eligible youth in their juvenile delinquency and immigration proceedings
• Presented to over 800 people at the LA County Public Defender's Offices, bar panel attorneys and private attorneys on immigration relief for undocumented youth
• Created an SIJS PPT which the Immigration Specialist at the LA County Public Defender's Office used to train public defenders throughout California
Where are they now?: 
Now that the Fellowship is complete, Jesus will:
• Join the Federal Defenders of San Diego
• Represent indigent persons accused of criminal offenses in federal court and ensure clients have the security net of committed and passionate counsel

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