2014 Equal Justice Works Fellow, Elizabeth Hasse

Elizabeth Hasse

Name of Host Organization: Tahirih Justice Center
City, State: Houston, Texas
Issue area: Immigrant Populations, Domestic Violence
Sponsors: BP; Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

The Project

Elizabeth provided culturally competent, holistic legal services to detained and formerly detained immigrant women and girls in Houston who are fleeing gender-based violence.

The Inspiration

Need Addressed By Project: 
Around the world, one in three women has survived physical or sexual violence. Many immigrant women have fled such violence in their home countries or have experienced it here in the U.S. These women are often detained and placed in deportation proceedings. Congress has created several types of relief from deportation for these women. However, the physical, psychological, and social trauma these women have experienced, and the language barriers many of them face, make it extremely challenging to navigate our complicated immigration system without assistance. These women are unlikely to obtain relief from deportation without the benefit of legal representation.
Fellowship Highlights: 
In the past two years, Elizabeth has:
• Represented 57 detained and formerly detained women and girls in their immigration proceedings
• Mentored 69 pro bono attorneys on representing detained and formerly detained women and girls
• Provided brief services to 257 immigrant women and girls, primarily formerly detained asylum seekers
• Created and updated samples for pro bono attorneys to use in U visa, T visa, VAWA, SIJS, and asylum cases
• Built relationships with community partners to coordinate legal services for immigrant women and girls fleeing violence
Where are they now?: 
Now that the Fellowship is complete, Elizabeth plans to:
• Continue to represent detained and formerly detained women and girls in their immigration proceedings as a staff attorney at the Tahirih Justice Center
• Mentor pro bono attorneys as they represent detained and formerly detained immigrant women and girls
• Update existing training materials and samples for pro bono attorneys on how to represent formerly detained women and girls

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