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Maricela Lechuga

2016, Equal Justice Works Fellowships, Maricela Lechuga

Maricela Lechuga

Name of Host Organization: Tahirih Justice Center
City, State: Falls Church, Virginia
Issue area: Immigrant Populations
Sponsors: Hilton Worldwide, DLA Piper

The Project

Provide trauma informed immigration legal representation to Latin American immigrant women with children and girls who immigrated with a parent or guardian (also known as adults with children), who have survived gender-based violence, face deportation, and now reside in the Greater Washington, DC area.

The Inspiration

Need Addressed By Project
From July 2014 to January 2015, there was an estimated 2,000 AWCs in the Greater Washington, DC Area. Unrepresented AWCs have about a 100% chance of being deported, while those with representation have a 25% chance of qualifying for some type of immigration relief. Immigration representation makes all the difference, however only 30% of AWCs actually obtain legal representation.
The Right Person For This Project
Maricela is the right person for the project because:
• Of her extensive expertise in asylum law
• Her coordination and management experience
• Her experience providing culturally competent and trauma informed legal representation