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Ann Garcia

2017, Equal Justice Works Fellowships, Ann Garcia

Ann Garcia

Name of Host Organization: RAICES
City, State: Fort Worth, Texas
Issue area: Immigrant Populations
Sponsors: Texas Access to Justice Foundation

The Project

Provide free, bilingual, and culturally sensitive immigration legal aid and advocacy for transgender individuals detained at the Prairieland Detention Center in Alvarado, Texas.

The Inspiration

Need Addressed By Project
Our country’s immigration laws require that many asylum seekers, including transgender individuals, be detained until they can prove that they have a credible claim to protection. While in detention, many transgender individuals will experience sexual assault and other forms of abuse and ill-treatment. Detained immigrants are five times less likely to obtain legal counsel and five-and-a-half times less likely to be successful on their asylum claims.
The Right Person For This Project

Ann is the right person for the project because:
• She has represented immigrants in complicated removal cases through the Washington College of Law’s Immigrant Justice Clinic
• She is deeply knowledgeable about immigration law and policy, as a result of her summer internship at the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project
• While at the Center for American Progress, she launched a project to address immigration and detention policies affecting LGBTQ immigrants

Plans For First Six Months of Fellowship

In the first six months, Ann will:
• Conduct legal screenings with transgender immigrants detained at Prairieland Detention Center and collaborate with pro-bono attorneys to provide legal aid
• Build on the existing momentum of community-based and national LGBTQ and immigrants’ rights organizations working to strengthen support for transgender detainees
• Ensure compliance with federal transgender detention guidelines, which aim to improve the safety of transgender people in detention